Thursday 24th May

I always take pictures, though I only need one, preferably of the curtains for instagram. :P

Tonight's show was an opera, Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). It's exactly what it sounds like, pearl fishers. Divers searching for pearls, and the "king" potentially making a profit. It was in French with subtitles at the top. While we got great seats for stage view we had to look up for subtitles. My French isn't that great though I picked up on a few lines. I wonder, do you have to learn French, the singers, or just know the words?

Set on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), I thought it was French Polynesia, or somewhere near Indian. Exactly one actor looked Indian, the Priestess's Servant. 

The men were topless, and unlike in theatre (where everyone used a can or two of spray tan each), they looked like normal people, often overweight with no abs. I felt a bit violated there, as I recognized a few I've only seen in a tux. 

Three sets: island ruins, temples at night, an office (pulled in front of the temple). Huge sets, though simple, moved quietly it was impressive. With a slanted stage where the actors entered, and a background of glimmering sea where the sky meets the sea. Picture above, the green behind the tree is the sea. 

On theatricality it was low with simple sets and costumes, nothing too bedazzling. Though opera is all about the music and emotions I'm told, rather than the scenes.   

Still not sure who this 'guru' like old man with the orange hair and beard is... he's just there at random times. Though doesn't interact with anyone, more of an observer that no one sees. 

I have a few questions...

  • Who is the girl on the poster? Shouldn't the leading lady be on it?
  • Who is the orange haired guru-looking guy? He's just there, doesn't really interact with the other or have any lines.
  • So the two "bros" were together, but then one is on the island and the other joins him, looking for the girl. How did they get on the island? The first guy, Z.
  • Costumes and who's in charge. The main guys are fully clothed while the chorus/village is in island wear? Is this a demonstration of power through colonization and status?
  • With the coconuts, the villagers said they want to bathe in his blood, but when you're all holding coconut cups, it makes me think you want to drink his blood! On side notes, I now need coconut water! 

It was an enjoyable opera, though not one on my list. Jas recommends it while I'm on the fence, as it's not a must see for me, but at $30 count me in! For seats where you can see both the subtitles and stage, the circle seats are recommend.

Off to the theatre tonight to see Tennessee Williams's 'The Glass Menagerie' (1944). If the name sounds familiar it's because he wrote A Streetcar Named Desire (1947). 

It was a lovely play, with a great set. A house on stage (two rooms, areas leading to other rooms and a balcony) with effective use of visuals, cameras surround the house, offering a close up on emotions of the characters. "One of the play’s most unique stylistic features is the use of an onstage screen on which words and images relevant to the action are projected". The words were often what I'd call chapter titles, for they were key words that were used in that scene. 

This isn't set on the beach, but the living room. Just with very different lighting and mood.

I loved the disco ball, playing the stars in the sky. Oh how the light reflects from it! The lighting design was very very bright! Use of lights off the main stage area was used to shine through the bay window creating an illusion of daylight. 

Tom states that "movies he attends are substituting on-screen adventure for real-life adventure, finding fulfillment in illusion rather than real life". That is very true, though some adventured are better left on screen. Whenever possible I prefer to go out rather than stay at home and watch tv. Tom’s always going “to the movies” after midnight. He jokes about going to opium dens, though I think he's potentially an alcoholic or seeing a guy. :P

Laura's glass ornaments, her favourite is a unicorn. But Jim knocked it off the table and broke the horn so it's now a horse. Fitting in with Laura's horses. Losing what made it special, what made her different. I found this symbol quite powerful, as Laura is based on William's sister, Rose, who had a lobotomy where they drill into your brain. It went wrong and she died on the inside though.

"The glass unicorn in Laura’s collection—significantly, her favorite figure—represents her peculiarity. As Jim points out, unicorns are “extinct” in modern times and are lonesome as a result of being different from other horses. Laura too is unusual, lonely, and ill-adapted to existence in the world in which she lives. The fate of the unicorn is also a smaller-scale version of Laura’s fate in Scene Seven. When Jim dances with and then kisses Laura, the unicorn’s horn breaks off, and it becomes just another horse. Jim’s advances endow Laura with a new normalcy, making her seem more like just another girl".

Today the term "Gentleman caller" refers to f**k buddy, though it's "a very old-fashioned way of saying that a man is coming over to your house to inquire as to your datability. They want to get to know you, and discover if there might be some mutual interest".

Like Gilbert Grape, Tom feels cramped, suffocating, and morbid. Hopelessness is eating away with him with a special needs sister, much like Gilbert's brother played by the Wolf of Wall Street. But they move on in different ways, one runs for it, while the other moves on, though taking his brother with him.

Funny how the mother believed finding a man to offload Laura to was the answer. It might be, though what will the mother's purpose then? Amanda was amazing in her role of the leading lady, and won a Helpmann Award for her role!

Have you been to the theatre later? Or do you prefer the comfort of the lounge?

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