"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Siegfried" Opens to Great Reviews!

Choreogapher Lawrence Pech assists supernumerary Jerry Locsin as he puts on his bear costume. The bear appears as Siegfried's companion in Act I of Siegfried.  (This is because Siegfried has been raised by an "Evil Dwarf" in the Forest and has had only animals for companions..)  Many current productions
omit the Bear altogether....it's a shame because it adds a bit of humour to a dark story.

I must say, since the beginning of rehearsals (late-April), Jerry has grrrrrreatly improved and now gambols about the stage looking very like a Bear!  The audience loved him at Sunday's Opening!

Siegfried has just slain the "Dragon" (which resembles a HUGE Trash Compactor/Transformer thingie)....The Dragon's body opens to reveal Fafner the Giant....who dies, but not before revealing the whereabouts of "the Ring" to Siegfried.
Here is the Dragon in action!  He really is quite amazing as he spits steam and hisses.....his eyes and mouth glow!   (And again, kudos to the design team as many operas forgo any kind of dragon and settle for a digital image projected on a backdrop!  Here, Siegfried can really do battle with him!)

Finally, after almost five hours (yes, that's right.....5 HOURS) of marvelous singing AND acting, Siegfried breaks through the "Magic Fire" that has been surrounding Brünnhilde (since the end of Die Walküre) and awakens her with a kiss!  They end the opera singing some of the most glorious music ever...filled with joy and passion.  (Of course, this is NOT going to last...Götterdämmerung is coming....) But, one leaves the performance in a kind of glowing trance, the music still resounding in one's head and heart.

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More "Ring" a-ling Bits

Well, you know, this HAS been my life (if not 24/7, at least 11/7) for the past 10 days. I HAVE to share....that's what blogging is all about!  So here is a bit of what happens in the first of the four "Ring" Operas -" Das Rheingold".

Scene 1:The Rheinmaidens sing about their "Gold".

Scene 2: Wotan (King of the Gods) explains to his fellow Gods how wonderful it will be to have their own private castle (Valhalla)in the Heavens.  (He is wearing an eye patch because he sacrificed an eye in order to gain Fricka as his wife.)

Scene 3: Fricka hopes building Valhalla will keep his other eye from straying....(it doesn't).

Scene 4:The Giants - Fasolt and Fafner.  They built Valhalla for Wotan...at the end of this opera, Fafner kills his brother, Fasolt, and returns in "Siegfried" (the 3rd Opera) as a Dragon!  Wait to you see what the Dragon looks like!  (I can't reveal this until "Siegfried" opens - this Sunday!)  But, it's really cool!

Scene 5: Alberich (the ultimate villan and the head dwarf of the Niebelungen), exalts in the creation of the magic "Ring"...of course, he has has to give up *Love* in order to steal the Ring from the Rheinmaidens.

Scene 6: Loge (the God of Fire) helps "trick" Alberich into losing the Ring to Wotan.

Scene 7: Alberich calling up the Niebelung "slaves" to bring up all the gold to give to Wotan.

Scene 8: The Gods, having stolen the gold (including the Ring - which Wotan gave as payment to Fafner, the Giant), ascend into Valhalla. They laugh and drink Champagne, oblivious to the pleas of the Rheinmaidens....who want their gold (aka The Ring) back.

What will happen?  Ah, one must wait for "Die Walkure"....to find out.

To be continued.....


♥ Robin ♥

Friday, May 20, 2011

A "Ring" Update

No, "Notes from Valhalla" is NOT another blog of mine..... but I love the header..so I borrowed it!   I wanted to share a little of what my life has revolved around the past ten days (EXCEPT for two AMAZING days in  LA with Marianne - and Frida)....  from 4-10 every day, I have lived, breathed and experienced the creation of a soon-to-be-famous SF Opera Ring!  Here are a few moments from rehearsals...

The Gods entering Valhalla - the end of "Das Rheingold" - the first of the 4 "Ring" Operas.

The Giants, Fafner and Fasolt, make off with Freia, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Youth. (Das Rheingold)  (You really should look at my post a few weeks ago - with the Anna Russell explanation of "The Ring".)

Here are our "Giants"....this is why they "might be Giants"....hard to walk like that!  A-ha-ha!

Even the little items have been specially created for SF Opera!  For "Siegfried" - here is Rheingold Bier....just what Mime and Siegfried drink outside their trailer!

Setting the stage for "Siegfried"  ACT I! 

Mime....the "evil Dwarf" - who raised Siegfried.....  portrayed by the wonderful singer and actor - David Cangelosi!  A funny and charming guy!  (And, he likes my coffee!)

Siegfried and Nothung (his magical sword)....in rehearsal.

Mime in his trailer...(the Rheingold Beer is just a little to the left and out of the shot....

The set for Götterdämmerung - ACT II.

One MUST have a sense of humour about this......

Still, it means a lot to me....  of all the Operas in the world (and there are many) - there is only ONE "Ring" - and it doesn't come along all that often!
So, I am enjoying every minute!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Animal Wednesday....sort of

Hello All!  Many of you know that this past weekend, I flew South to "La-La Land" to meet a dear friend. We had a wild and whirlwind two days....and soon, there will be many photos to share. Pictured above is the most gorgeous "Lab Bag" from Marja (whom some of you know).  Marja gave this to Marianne who brought it all the way from Holland for me. I miss my Chocolate Lab, Bofie, so much (he lives in NY with my Ex) and now, I will always have Bofie with me. Hence, my "Animal" Wednesday post!  A-ha-ha!

I cried when I opened the package......  and then, I promptly switched purses so I could wear it!  THANK YOU, Marja, mein Zuster!

I had to include one photo of Marianne and Moi.....  just one....for now.  Marianne had a LONG way to fly home - and is currently just a bit under the weather.  But we will share the many, many photos we took with you all soon!

As those of you who have met another "Blogging Family Member" in person know...it is a wonderful, special little "miracle"....  you meet - and you are both totally at ease... like you have known each other for years!  What can I say about Marianne that you all don't already know!  Lovely, charming, funny, and oh-so wise.  She is a treasure!

Please notice we are BOTH wearing lilac!  This is what we wore the first day when we met - and we didn't plan it!  Also notice I am "tan"!  Completely fake - as the sun "hates' me....but I wanted a "California Glow"!  Marianne's tan is completely real - she has that wonderful skin that turns golden under the sun!

I must dash....back to the Opera and another rehearsal....  but, the "Continuing Adventures of Marianne, Robin (and one other "mysterious" lady) in La-La-Land" will be continued soon!



♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Animal Wednesday - A Belated Mother's Day Post

It's Mr. Orange and his Mum, Puchinella!  You only have one Mum....and it is  wonderful if she is loving, giving and shares with you.....  my own Mum has been dead for 28 years...but she was all of those things - and I still miss her...

HAW!  A toast to the Mums who are real, full of love and inspiration!


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Animal Wednesday - It's ALL About Opera...and Animals of Course!

Next week.....Opera rehearsals begin for our "Ring"....  do you think I am a teensy weensy excited?  No? 

Anyway, here is a Non-Wagnerian Operatic Animal Wednesday (or: NWOAW) post!  Even if you are completely unfamaliar with Opera...most of you will recognise this famous musical duet "The Flower Duet" from "Lakmé" by Leo Delibes.  I love this version....and I think Monsieur Delibes would too.



♥ Robin ♥