Monday, February 13, 2012
A Night at the Opera: Werther
This post is unforgivably tardy. Better late than never, I suppose, and while my excuses are legitimate they are still excuses. For one thing, my scanner is an incredibly old, fussy thing that doesn’t always work with my new laptop. Perhaps it’s acting out of spite because I abandoned it for a year while I lived in Korea. Perhaps it isn’t super compatible with my Macbook. Perhaps it’s just old. Whatever the reason, even after attempting to restart the laptop and the scanner several times (which was my usual fix), I haven’t been able to get the scanner to talk to my laptop for a couple of weeks now.
How I Imagine My Electronic Devices Behave:
Laptop: I hate that scanner. It’s old and it smells funny and I don’t want to listen to it anymore.
Scanner: Eh? Did you say something, sonny? Where are my pants?
The other reason, a bit less legitimate, is that my sketches are terrible. In short: It was dark, I’m severely night-blind, and I should have brought opera glasses or binoculars or something. Noted for next time.
Though failing to capture the awesome visuals that this opera presented (the sets and costumes were wonderful, as far as I could tell, and the photos on some of my fellow blogger friends’ sites confirmed it), I am finally posting the sketchpad drawings, but please be patient and understanding of the fact that I had to take them with my webcam, so they’re not the best quality. Also, pardon the fingers. You can click on the images to make them bigger.
First of all, I loved all the kids. The way they lined up, the way they played in the park, the singing. Super adorable. Those costumes! Here is my attempted gestural sketch of the adorableness.
Now on to Werther and Charlotte. Their romance, at first, was very sweet. A sort of “love at first sight” kind of story. I’m a sucker for romance, even the tragic kind, so this appealed to me quite a bit. We had some hope that maybe, just maybe, things would work out for these two. I tried to capture some of the chemistry there, the lovely gesture of the way they walked down the staircase together, and Charlotte’s pretty party dress (I don’t think I got the design right at all, but as I mentioned, I had to guess a lot at what the blurs on stage were supposed to be).
I also sketched a bit of my favorite character in all of this, the younger sister (I think the oldest under Charlotte), Sophie. She totally had a thing for Werther, too, and she had a really cute hat with a ribbon on it. More like a bonnet, I guess? I couldn’t be sure, but the huge round shape of it caught my attention. She spends most of the show either mooning after Werther (I guess she likes the emo boys), or trying to cheer people up (both Charlotte and Werther are on the receiving end of her adorable chipperness). She also has a nice chat with Albert, Charlotte’s fiance.
And then things got weird and uncomfortable, and I gave up trying to strain my eyes. Werther grabbed Charlotte’s skirt and made her edge away nervously. Werther rolled around on the floor. HE MADE SOPHIE CRY. Everything got reduced to chibis, all the better to express the complicated feelings. So many FEELINGS!
And then I switched to marker because I couldn’t even see my pencil sketches while I was drawing them (dark room + book light = bright glare on paper = blind artist), and things got really silly. Charlotte was equated to cake (the dresses looked like you could eat them, and everyone wanted a piece of her). Albert’s consoling speech to Werther came off more as gloating and rubbing it in Werther’s face that he couldn’t have the cake Charlotte, and man, what a nice cake it was.
Captions: “Charlotte = Cake” “Man, it is so great to be married to Charlotte. I can only IMAGINE how much it sucks to be you…” “Yeah ok bro shut up.” “THIS CAKE IS SO DELICIOUS AND MOIST!”
I kind of stopped trying at all after that.
Captions: “Saddest Panda. 2nd Saddest Panda.” “Be happy!” “All the unshed tears fall back onto the soul, and the drops hammer away at a sad and weary heart.”
Most adorable suicide ever?
…What is wrong with me?
In conclusion, DO go see Werther, or any of the other fine productions at the MN Opera House. Better yet, go see all of them. Get some culture in your life. Listen to some amazingly talented performers sing about love and loss and regrets. It’s way cooler than going to see that new Twilight movie. You’ll thank me later.