Sunday, December 02, 2007

Die Dreigroschenoper

Well, in reference to my last post, I certainly had the time to write about the Mendelssohn gathering, but I lacked the inclination. Hardly surprising, but rather a pity because I did want to write about the opera (at least).

The opera was Berthold Brecht's Dreigroschenoper (Threepenny Opera) -- an opera that I have actually seen once before, several years ago, performed by prisoners in William Head Prison (near Victoria, BC). The Berliner Ensemble performance was considerably more abstract compared to that of the prison's theatre group. Lighting played an important role, while costumes and props were understated and were often seen in silhouette. The costumes, specifically, were mostly black, so that the pale hands and faces of the actors stood out in the blue-white spotlights. The silhouettes and some of the costumes seemed as if they belonged more in the early 19th century than the early 20th century. Out of place or not, I appreciated the accompanying associations and liked the way those associations influenced the atmosphere of the opera.

My favourite character was the chief of police, Tiger Brown. He is not, perhaps, the most admirable character, but his eccentricity, his friendship with Mac and his good intentions were endearing. The following are two photos from the "Programmheft" (programme?), which we bought at the theatre. In the second photo, Tiger Brown is in the front, to Mac's left.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The makeup, by the way, was barely noticeable from where we were sitting. I think that was for the best, because I probably would have found such heavy makeup distracting. The effect from a distance, on the other hand, was agreeable and harmonious.

On the whole, I enjoyed the opera very much. It was entertaining, often funny, and well thought-out. I'm glad that I decided to go despite being rather tired from the day's other events.

Note: The above photos were edited using Adobe Photoshop.

Another Note: I've decided to begin using Photobucket for images other than my own photos, but it seems to me that Photobucket images take rather long to load, and the website is cumbersome. That said, who am I to complain about free services? :o> In any case, the present arrangement appears to be satisfactory (quibbles aside).


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