11 April, 2010

Capturing the Zeitgeist, Part Two: The Puritani Quartet

Golden Age explores the night of January 24, 1835, opening night of Vincenzo Bellini's final opera I Puritani (The Puritans), starring the four most celebrated singers in Europe known as The Puritani Quartet. As the audience, we have a backstage peek at the world behind the scenes on an opening night, exploring not only the ins and outs of being in the theatre, but the ins and outs of being of the theatre. Bellini himself is dying of consumption, but the necessity for creation drives him forward.

We share a Greenroom with them.
The 1970's meets 1835.
It's pretty weird. 

* * *

So. There they are in the Greenroom shared by 1970's New York City and 1835 Paris.
A coffee machine.
A few dozen puzzles.
A spades game in the corner.
Theatrical posters along the walls from present day to days of yore.
The day was inevitable.
The day was today:

Sophie DePalma meets her idol, soprano Giulia Grissi...in the company of her fellow Puritani Quartet members-- baritone Tamburini, bass LaBlanche and tenor Rubini.

[excited face!!!]


[Sophie gathers herself as best she can, pulls up her knee socks, and appraoches Grissi, perhaps including herself in Grissi's personal space juuuuuuust a touch...]

Sophie: ...Omygodyour Adalgisa in Maestro Bellini's Norma was leeeeeeeeegendary...

Giulia: Haha! [coy light laughter complete with theatrical head-shaking and hand flicking] ...Yes.

Sophie: May I touch your necklace?


Giulia: Um. [she blinks] Certainly...

[she removes it]

Sophie: ...and would you sign my score?!

Grissi: eh?

Tamburini: What's that magic flashing box?

Rubini: [aside] perhaps she will not see me stealing her jewels while the magic box flashes...

* * *


Sophie: Ooooooooh...

[Giulia's left hand pulls the jewels iiiiimperceptibly away...]

Giulia: Careful Sophie! Careful now my dear! These were given to me by Rossini.

Sophie: they WERE?!

Giulia: Oh yes, after my performance of Semiramide in Paris. Gioachino has wonderful taste in jewels.

Sophie: --what about the one you are wearing?

Giulia: my good luck necklace from my stage debut as Emma in Rossini's Zelmira in Bologna in 1828. From my sisters.

Sophie: and the earrings?

[she moves to touch them]

Giulia: Ah-Ah-AH! No touching! NO. TOUCHING. NO TOUCH! [she gathers herself: a deep breath before,] They were a gift from an admirer in Milan after the premiere of Norma.

Sophie: and what about your tiara...?

[pause. deadpan.]

Giulia: It's mine. We must dress for the job we want my darling-- haven't you ever heard that phrase...?

[she examines Sophie briefly...]

...perhaps you haven't...


1 comment:

  1. These Images include:

    Rebecca Brooksher as Grisi,
    Marc Kudisch as Tamburini,
    Hoon Lee as Lablache,
    Christopher Michael McFarland as Rubini



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