UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

La Bohème : a design 1972

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L A B O H E M E : A D E S I G N b y A S T R I D J A N S O N B . A . ,' W a t e r l o o L u t h e r a n U n i v e r s i t y , 1969 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n the ' depa r tmen t • o f T h e a t r e We a c c e p t th i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A A p r i l , 1972 In present ing th is thes is in p a r t i a l fu 1 f i lmeht 'of 'the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make it f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extensive copying o f t h i s t h e s i s fo r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is representa t ives . It is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s fo r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion . Department .of """j^cAT^^T The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT This t h e s i s i s a design f o r P u c c i n i ' s opera, La Boheme, which-I have set i n the 1890»s i n s t e a d of the lS30's i n which P u c c i n i o r i g i n a l l y set i t . The main reason f o r t h i s period change i s based on the fact that the music, the s p i r i t , and the characters themselves, seem to f i t n a t u r a l - l y and a p p r o p r i a t e l y i n t o the g l i t t e r , the charm, and the a r t i s t i c mood of the "gay n i n e t i e s " . I have set the opera on the Me t r o p o l i t a n Opera House stage, and have included-photographs of t h e • h a l f - i n c h s c a l e model constructed f o r t h i s purpose. The a c t u a l s e t t i n g s are simple, suggesting only the basic a r c h i t e c t u r a l n e c e s s i t i e s , i n order t o a l l o w the background - a system of p r o j e c t i o n screens and m i r r o r s , t o predominate and f i l t e r through the a c t i o n c o n s t a n t l y . " , In designing the costumes, I have adhered c l o s e l y t o the s i l h o u - e t t e of the 1590's, exaggerating, s i m p l i f y i n g , or emphasizing p a r t i c u l a r elements i n order to heighten t h e i r dramatic e f f e c t . I have assigned spe- c i f i c , r e s t r i c t e d colour schemes to the chracters which I considered appro- p r i a t e and i n character. Although I d i d not r e l y e n t i r e l y , on a r t i s t i c works, the m a j o r i t y of the research i n t o the period i s .centred around the p a i n t i n g s of Toulouse- Lautrec, Degas, and U t r i l l o , as w e l l as the l i t h o g r a p h s and posters of Laut- r e c , Cheret, and other turn-of-the-century a r t i s t s . The t h e s i s a l s o i n c l u d e s t e c h n i c a l drawings and a l i g h t i n g l a y o u t , sec t i o n , and instrument schedule. G e n e r a l l y speaking, charm, s i m p l i c i t y , and a romantic nood, are the q u a l i t i e s for.which I strove i n the design of the opera T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S L i s t of I l l u s t r a t i o n s A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s I L a B o h e m e i n 1895 II T h e D e s i g n of the Se t t i ngs and C o s t u m e s T h e Se t t i ngs T h e C o s t u m e s S u m m a t i o n S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y I l l u s t r a t i o n s T e c h n i c a l D r a w i n g s i i L I S T O F I L L U S T R A T I O N S page T h e C o s t u m e s 1. R o d o l f o ( A c t I) 16 2 . M a r c e l l o ( A c t I) 17 3. S h a u n a r d 18 4. C o l l i n e 19 5. M i m i ( A c t I) 20 6. B e n o i t 21 7. M u s e t t a ( A c t II) 22 8. A l c i n d o r o 2 3 9. M i m i ( A c t II, III) 24 10. M a r c e l l o ( A c t II, III) 25 11 . R o d o l f o ( A c t II, III) 2 6 12. C h o r u s ( A c t II) a) T h e W h o r e s 27 b) T h e S tudents 28 c) T h e L a d y and the A r t i s t 29 13. P a r p i g n o l 30 14. M u s e t t a ( A c t III) 31 15. T h e T o l l g a t e S e r g e a n t 32 16. T h e C h o r u s ( A c t III) 33 17. M i m i ( A c t IV) 34 18. M u s e t t a ( A c t IV) 35 i i i page T h e S e t t i n g s , 1. A c t I, I V 36 2 . A c t II 37 3. A c t III 38 T e c h n i c a l D r a w i n g s i v A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S I w i s h to a c k n o w l e d g e w i t h g r a t i t u d e : D e a n n a S i l v e r s t e r ; S t eve G e a g h a n ; S teve M i l l e r ; L o r n a and A l e x G u n n ; V e r a A m a l i a ; H . A . S i m o n s ( In t e rna t iona l ) L t d . ; S e n o r B a c a r d i ; and s p e c i a l thanks to B r i a n P a r k e r . I L A B O H E M E I N 1895 In r e v i e w i n g a p e r f o r m a n c e of L a B o h e m e i n 1901, a N e w Y o r k T i m e s c r i t i c , W . J . H e n d e r s o n , a d m i t t e d that " the a u d i e n c e r a t h e r s e e m e d to enjoy the P u c c i n i o p e r a . " H e then c o m m e n t e d on the un fo r tuna te f r e q u e n c y of c o n s u m p t i o n a m o n g o p e r a t i c h e r o i n e s , and ended h i s a r t i c l e w i t h a thought fu l j udgmen t : " N e v e r t h e l e s s , we canno t b e l i e v e that t he r e i s p e r m a n e n t s u c c e s s f o r an o p e r a c o n s t r u c t e d as t h i s one i s . " A n o t h e r c r i t i c d u t i f u l l y u p h e l d V i c t o r i a n p r o p r i e t y i n the s t a t emen t that " M u r g e r ' s L a V i e de B o h e m e i s h a r d l y s u i t a b l e f o r the book of an o p e r a . " O t h e r s s i g h e d fo r a r e t u r n to g r a n d o p e r a as e x e m p l i f i e d b y A i d a . G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , at the t i m e of i t s v a r i o u s p r e m i e r e s , L a B o h e m e a r o u s e d no c r i t i c a l a c c l a i m , and yet , today, " i t i s j u s t about t i e d w i t h A i d a as the o p e r a m o s t of ten g i v e n b y the M e t r o p o l i t a n . A l t h o u g h P u c c i n i se t the o p e r a i n the 1 8 3 0 ' s , t h e r e a r e a n u m b e r of r e a s o n s w h y i t s e e m s to f i t v e r y n a t u r a l l y in to the 1890 ' s - the m o s t o b v i o u s b e i n g that P u c c i n i c o m p l e t e d i t i n 1896 and r e f l e c t e d h i s own t i m e i n bo th the m u s i c and the d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e of the w o r k . If one t r a i t c a n be c h o s e n as m o s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of L a B o h e m e , i t i s a p p a r e n t spon tane i ty . T h e r e a r e m e l o d i e s i n p r o f u s i o n , f l o w i n g out of one ano the r so n a t u r a l l y that the l i s t e n e r r a r e l y r e a l i z e s w h e n he i s h e a r i n g a new one for the f i r s t t i m e . A r i a s and duets , the s o - c a l l e d set p i e c e s ' a r e r a t h e r s u b t l y " s e t " ; 1. G i a c o m o P u c c i n i , L a B o h e m e , t r a n s , b y E . H . B l e i l e r , p . 22 . 2 of ten they gr ew i m p e r c e p t i b l y out of P u c c i n i ' s p e r s o n a l k i n d of r e c i t a t i v e , a v e r y m e l o d i o u s i n t e r c h a n g e b e t w e e n s i n g e r and o r c h e s t r a . ^ * S i n c e the d r a m a t i c m a t e r i a l c o n s i s t s of a n u m b e r of s h o r t s t o r i e s c o n n e c t e d b y t h e i r s e t t i n g and c h a r a c t e r s , the r e s u l t has a c a s u a l , even s e e m i n g l y d i s o r g a n i z e d , c o n t i n u i t y . " V a r i e t y i s one of B o h e m e ' s g r e a t c h a r m s and the appa ren t d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n f r e e s B o h e m e f r o m the r i g o r o u s s t r u c t u r a l c o m p o s i t i o n of w e l l - m a d e p l a y s . " ' T h e r e f o r e , the m u s i c and the s t o r y , u n l i k e o p e r a s c o m p o s e d i n the 1830 ' s ( R o s s i n i ' s , fo r e x a m p l e ) a r e m u c h l e s s s t r u c t u r e d , m o r e n o v e l i n c o n c e p t i o n and s t y l e , a l t hough P u c c i n i does r e v e a l a h i g h deg - r e e of o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h he i s s k i l l f u l enough not to a l l o w to i n t r u d e on the d r a m a t i c effect . F o r e x a m p l e , the r e p e t i t i o n of t h e m e s , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c m o t i f s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i dea s or s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r s , i s one of the m o r e o b v i o u s w a y s i n w h i c h P u c c i n i a t t e m p t e d to t i g h t e n the s t r u c t u r e . " T h e l a v i s h , fund of m e l o d y i s a c t u a l l y unde r f i r m c o n t r o l ; a r t c o n c e a l s i t s e l f - L a B o h e m e s t i l l s e e m s spon taneous . T h e c h a r a c t e r s i n L a B o h e m e w e r e c o n t e m p o r a r y f i g u r e s , not s t a n d a r d o p e r a t i c c u t - o u t s , and the w h o l e w o r k " s t r e s s e d pa thos and i n t i m a c y r a t h e r than d r a m a and g r a n d e u r . T h e d e p i c t i o n of the t y p i c a l l i f e of " the a r t i s t " , h i s a d v e n t u r e s , h i s f e r v e n t c o n c e r n w i t h l o v e , i t s a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n , and of c o u r s e , h i s b a s i c s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l , s e e m e d to r e a c h a peak of r o m a n t i c i n t e n s i t y at the end of the 2 . K a t h e r i n e G r i f f i t h , " A M e t h o d to the M a d c a p s " , i n O p e r a N e w s , V o l . 22 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y 10, 1958, p . 4. 3. i b i d . , p . 4. 4. i b i d . , p . 6. 5. J o h n F r e e m a n , " F a r e w e l l , Swee t A w a k e n i n g " , i n O p e r a N e w s , V o l . 22 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y , 1958, p . 11. 3 n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; and P u c c i n i w a s no doubt g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d b y l i f e a r o u n d h i m . H o w e v e r , i t s e e m s that an e r a a l w a y s b e c o m e s m o r e r o m a n t i c i n r e t r o s p e c t . A s P u c c i n i r e g a r d e d the B o h e m i a n l i f e on the R i v e G a u c h e i n the 1830 ' s w i t h poe t i c and f r a n k s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , s u r e l y w e r e g a r d l i f e on the s l opes of M o n t m a r t r e i n the ' 9 0 ' s w i t h the s a m e r o m a n t i c n o s t a l g i a . A f t e r the d e b a c l e of the F r a n c o - P r u s s i a n w a r of 1 8 7 0 - 7 1 , i n w h i c h the n a t i o n a l p r i d e of F r a n c e w a s s h a t t e r e d , t he r e c a m e a t i m e fo r p i c k i n g up the p i e c e s , a r r a n g i n g t h e m d i f f e r e n t l y , and c r e a t i n g a new s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . P a r i s w a n t e d to l i v e ; the pen i t en t m o o d and p a s s e d . F o r g l i t t e r and c h a r m th is new age w a s u n s u r p a s s e d and r e a c h e d a peak of e x p r e s s i o n i n the o v e r w h e l m i n g W o r l d E x h i b i t i o n of 1900 and the e r e c t i o n of the E i f f e l T o w e r . T h e n a m e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h th i s p e r i o d ; Z o l a , P a s t e u r , M a r i e and P i e r r e C u r i e , B e c q u e r e l , D e b u s s y , p r o m i s e d e x c i t i n g p r o g r e s s i n e v e r y face t of l i f e . It w a s th i s p e r i o d w h i c h p r o d u c e d an abundance of " s u p e r b r e s t a u r a n t s , w i t h a l l the m a s t e r p i e c e s of the c u l i n a r y a r t and e v e r y k i n d of w i n e , l u x u r y h o t e l s , b i g s t o r e s , b r i d g e s , and of c o u r s e , the G r a n d O p e r a w a s a g l o w e v e r y n igh t w i t h e l e c t r i c c h a n d e l i e r s. " • A s E u r o p e ' s m a r k e t p l a c e fo r c u l t u r a l i d e a s , P a r i s , a c i t y of g r e a t c o n t r a s t s , a t t r a c t e d a r t i s t s and f o r e i g n e r s f r o m a l l o v e r the w o r l d . It w a s a g o l d e n age for a r t c o l l e c t o r s s i n c e m a s t e r p i e c e s c o u l d be bought fo r nex t to n o t h i n g . W h e n A m b r o i s e V o l l a r d , the g r e a t a r t d e a l e r and a p o l o g i s t of m o d e r n a r t , put a p r i c e of 200 f r a n c s on a r e m a r k a b l e l i f e - d r a w i n g b y R e n o i r , he w a s 6. H e r m a n n S c h a r d t , ed. , P a r i s 1900, p . 7. 7. i b i d . , p . 8 -9 . 4 s c o r n e d w i t h l a u g h t e r , and no one even came to see the p i c t u r e . T h o s e who came to see the p a i n t i n g s of V a n Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, and Gauguin, p r i c e d at 40 - 100 f r a n c s , " l e f t v a s t l y a m u s e d or s t r u c k Q dumb w i t h astonishment. " • A s P a r i s grew, m o v i n g into her sec o n d m i l l i o n , and p r o p e r t y s p e c u l a t o r s pushed into the L a t i n Q u a r t e r , i t s i n h a b i t a n t s w e r e c o m p e l l e d to move out. The young a r t p i o n e e r s , l i k e the people as a whole, w e r e f u l l of the j o y of l i f e and the e x c i t e m e n t to be d e r i v e d f r o m c r e a t i v e w o r k had i t s l i v i n g r o o t s i n the f r i e n d s h i p and t r u s t of a l i k e - m i n d e d community. T h e r e f o r e , p a i n t e r s , poets, and m u s i c i a n s , w i t h t h e i r w i v e s , c h i l d r e n , and m i s t r e s s e s made t h e i r way a c r o s s the c i t y and s e t t l e d on the s l o p e s of M o n t m a r t r e w h e r e cheap lodgings c o u l d be had, g i v i n g b i r t h to " a c o n g l o m e r a t i o n of stu d i o s that s e e m e d to have been t h r o w n together f r o m 9 a s c r a p heap." It was the l o c a l b i s t r o s and cafes w h i c h w e r e the r e g u l a r meet- ing p l a c e s of the B o h e m i a n s and one i n p a r t i c u l a r , " L e Chat N o i r " i s l i n k e d w i t h many p e r s o n a l i t i e s of that p e r i o d who have r e m a i n e d (or s i n c e become) famous - P a u l V e r l a i n e , C l a u d e D e b u s s y and, of c o u r s e , "the i l i t t l e m o n s t e r , " H e n r i de T o u l o u s e - L a u t r e c w e r e the f i r s t h abitues, and soon dozens of the gr e a t names c o u l d be seen t h e r e night a f t e r night. It was h e r e that T o u l o u s e - L a u t r e c s t r u c k up a f r i e n d s h i p w i t h A r i s t i d e B r u a n t who a p p e a r e d n i g h t l y . . . i n a b l a c k v e l v e t j a c k e t and wide b r i m m e d hat and sang the c o a r s e songs that 8. i b i d . , p. 10. 9. i b i d . , p. 11. 5 m a d e h i m the l e a d i n g f o l k s i n g e r i n P a r i s . u - T h e new s p i r i t was r e f l e c t e d i n e v e r y face t of l i v i n g - a r t w a s no l o n g e r to be r e g a r d e d as a l u x u r y and n o t h i n g s e e m e d so s i m p l e or so h u m b l e that i t c o u l d not be ennob l ed b y the a r t i s t . P u c c i n i ' s L a B o h e m e i s a p r i m e e x a m p l e of th i s p r o c l i v i t y t o w a r d s h o n o u r i n g and r o m a n t i c i z i n g the h a n d to m o u t h e x i s t e n c e of the a r t i s t i c c o m m u n i t y . C o l o u r once a g a i n b e c a m e an e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e of p e o p l e s ' l i v e s and e n v i r o n m e n t . . . T h e m e l a n - c o l y s t y l e of i n t e r i o r d e c o r a t i o n w i t h i t s g i l t , and i t s d u s t - t r a p c u r t a i n s w h i c h h a d b e e n f a s h i o n a b l e u n t i l 1890, d i s a p p e a r e d and w a s r e p l a c e d b y one that f e a t u r e d b r i g h t l y c o l o u r e d m a t e r i a l s and l i g h t w o o d s . T h e l a s t y e a r s of the c e n t u r y found t h e i r m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t e x p r e s s i o n i n the F r e n c h p o s t e r , that d y n a m i c c r e a t i o n of the " f i n de s i e c l e " to w h i c h a l l a r t i s t s - w i t h few e x c e p t i o n s - t u r n e d t h e i r hand . T h e p o s t e r w h i c h w a s d e s i g n e d fo r the s t r ee t , fo r e v e r y d a y l i f e and not f o r the a r t m u s e u m h e r a l d e d the b e g i n n i n g of the a r t of a d v e r t i s i n g . T h e h u m a n f i g u r e was a l w a y s p r e d o m i n a n t , the c o l o u r s v i b r a n t and often i n v e r y u n u s u a l c o m b i n a t i o n s . In C h e r e t ' s p o s t e r s , the l a d i e s of the d e m i - m o n d e ( w h o m l i t e r a t u r e h a d m a d e a c c e p t a b l e ) a n d d a n c e r s and s i n g e r s " p o s e w i t h gay abandon i n a l i g h t w h i c h g i v e s the i l l u s i o n of f o o t l i g h t s . P a r i s w a s d e l i g h t e d to see th i s i m a g e of h e r s e l f i n a n a r t i s t ' s m i r r o r . . . L a u t r e c d i d not see the l i f e of the d e m i - m o n d e t h r o u g h r o s e c o l o u r e d s p e c t a c l e s . B e h i n d the s m i l e on the r o u g e d f a c e s of h i s d a n c i n g g i r l s , one c a n de tec t the m i s e r y of a l i f e of d r u d g e r y . In L a u t r e c ' s p o s t e r " R e i n e de J o i e " , the t h r ee f i g u r e s , the fat r o u e , the coque t t e and the t i r e d dandy a r e so p o r t r a y e d as to evoke h u n d r e d s of s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r s i n the P a r i s of the ' 9 0 ' s . T h e fac t that, b e h i n d th i s 10. i b i d . , p. 13. 11. j b i d . , p. 9. 12. i b i d . , p. 15. 6 f acade of gay t u r m o i l , t h e r e w a s g r o w i n g s o c i a l t e n s i o n w a s of l i t t l e c o n c e r n to the i nhab i t an t s of the c i t y . L a u t r e c , h o w e v e r , v e r y m u c h a m a n of h i s t i m e c o u l d " w i t h u n f a i l i n g i n s t i n c t , de tec t i t s b a s i c a m b i g u i t i e s , " • and p a i n t e d i t s peop l e w i t h s t a r k , of ten c r u e l , ye t v e r y h u m a n r e a l i s m . In the g l i t t e r and e x c i t e m e n t of th i s w o r l d b e l o n g the c h a r a c t e r s of L a B o h e m e w h o s e l i v e s r e f l e c t the s t r o n g c o n t r a s t s w h i c h p e r m e a t e d P a r i s i a n l i f e i n the " g a y n i n e t i e s " . E x t r e m e p o v e r t y w i t h i t s t r a g i c consequences , ; i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the " j o i e de v i v r e " e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h an undaun ted p u r s u i t of s u b l i m e a n d c r e a t i v e thought and a c t i v i t y s h a p e d the l i v e s of the B o h e m i a n s . 13. i b i d . , p . 19. 7 II T H E D E S I G N O F T H E S E T T I N G S , C O S T U M E S The S e t t i n g s In d e s i g n i n g the set t i n g s f o r L a Boheme, the b a s i c a p p r o a c h taken was to s i m p l i f y the a c t u a l s t r u c t u r e of the sets, and m e r e l y to suggest t h e i r a r c h i t e c t u r e i n o r d e r that the b a c k g r o u n d w h i c h c o n s t a n t l y p r e d o m i n a t e s , w o u l d f i l t e r t h r o u g h the a c t i o n j u s t as the P a r i s i a n e n v i r o n m e n t does th r o u g h the l i v e s of P u c c i n i ' s c h a r a c t e r s . T h i s a ttempt to expose the s e t t i n g to i t s s u r r o u n d i n g s I c o n s i d e r e d to be a c r u c i a l concept i n s t a g i n g the opera. The b a c k g r o u n d c o n s i s t s of s i x l a r g e r e a r p r o j e c t i o n s c r e e n s c o n n e c t e d by s i x m i r r o r s of the same height a n g l e d to r e f l e c t the i m a g e s p r o j e c t e d on the s c r e e n . The p u r p o s e of these i s not to r e p l a c e p a i n t e d b a c k d r o p s , but to p r o d u c e an i n t e r e s t i n g and e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t q u a l i t y . B e c a u s e of the angle of i t s placement, a s i n g l e m i r r o r may r e f l e c t e i t h e r the image of a s i n g l e s c r e e n or p a r t i a l i m a g e s of s e v e r a l s c r e e n s s u p e r i m p o s e d on one another thus g i v i n g a f e e l i n g of i n c r e a s e d depth. The s l i d e s u s e d to p r o j e c t the i m a g e s on the s c r e e n s a r e hand p a i n t e d i n a s t y l e w h i c h e m p h a s i z e s and, to a degree, f o r c e s the p e r s p e c t i v e of the b u i l d i n g s and s t r e e t s . T h i s effect i s heightened by the r e f l e c t i o n of the m i r r o r s , p r o d u c i n g an i n t e r e s t i n g , a p p a r e n t l y t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l back- g r o u n d f o r the a c t i o n . 8 S i n c e the s c r e e n s a r e so l a r g e ( a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h i r t y - s i x feet b y s i x t e e n feet) and i n o r d e r that the b a c k g r o u n d m i g h t not t o t a l l y o v e r - w h e l m the a c t i o n , the s l i d e s a r e p a i n t e d v e r y s i m p l y , d e t a i l s a r e e l i m i n a t e d ; the c o l o u r s a r e m u t e d and the l i n e s sof tened; and the b a s i c m o t i f s a r e r e p e a t e d w i t h o n l y m i n o r v a r i a t i o n s . A l t h o u g h the a u d i e n c e w o u l d at a l l t i m e s be a w a r e of the i m p o r t a n t r o l e p l a y e d b y the e n v i r o n - m e n t , the s c r e e n s and m i r r o r s w o u l d n e v e r i n t r u d e on the i n t i m a c y of c e r t a i n s cenes and w o u l d t h e r e f o r e be d i m m e d w h e n n e c e s s a r y . In r e s e a r c h i n g , t u r n - o f - t h e - c e n t u r y p a i n t i n g , I w a s i m p r e s s e d b y the s t r e n g t h and s i m p l i c i t y of M a u r i c e U t r i l l o ' s p a i n t i n g s of P a r i s s t r e e t s . H e d i s t i l l e d and c a p t u r e d the e s s e n c e of the c i t y , w i t h i t s 1 4 " w h i t e - w a s h e d h o u s e s b a t h e d i n the m a r v e l l o u s l i g h t of P a r i s . " A l t h o u g h , i n p a i n t i n g the p r o j e c t i o n s l i d e s , I d i d not a t t empt to c o p y s l a v i s h l y h i s s t y l e , I i n c o r p o r a t e d those q u a l i t i e s of h i s p a i n t i n g w h i c h s e e m e d m o s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of P a r i s i a n a r c h i t e c t u r e . F o r e x a m p l e , the a l m o s t i d e n t i c a l s o l i d b u i l d i n g s , c r a m p e d toge ther a l o n g a n a r r o w s t r ee t , w i t h t h e i r m a n s a r d r o o f s , n u m e r o u s c h i m n e y s and d a r k s l i t s as w i n d o w s , r e f l e c t the a p p e a r a n c e of P a r i s i n the 1 8 9 0 ' s . T e c h n i c a l E x p l a n a t i o n s F o r the p u r p o s e s of th i s p r o j e c t L a B o h e m e has b e e n set on the s tage of the M e t r o p o l i t a n O p e r a H o u s e w h o s e e x c e l l e n t f a c i l i t i e s p r o v i d e a d e s i g n e r w i t h p r a c t i c a l l y l i m i t l e s s f r e e d o m . T h e p r o s c e n i u m a r c h of the 14. A l b e r t S k i r a , P a r i s i n O u r T i m e , p . 9 1 . 9 M e t r o p o l i t a n O p e r a House i s a f i f t y - f o u r - b y - f i f t y - f o u r foot opening, w h i c h I have m a s k e d down to c r e a t e a f i f t y - f o u r - b y - t h i r t y - e i g h t - f o o t opening. The m a i n stage i t s e l f i s eighty feet deep and one h u n dred feet wide, f l a n k e d by two side stages adding another s i x t y feet of space on each s i d e of the m a i n stage. T hese s i d e stages c o n t a i n wagons ( s i x t y - f e e t - b y - f o r t y - f e e t ) on w h i c h the a l t e r n a t e sets w o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y a s s e m b l e d and r o l l e d on when n e c e s s a r y w h i l e the m a i n stage wagon w i t h i t s set w o u l d be r o l l e d b a c k into the r e a r stage a r e a ( s i x t y - f e e t - b y - s i x t y - f e e t ) thus f a c i l i t a t i n g and speeding up scene changes. S i n c e the f l y a p paratus on the d o u b l e - g r i d s y s t e m i s r e g u l a t e d by one-hundr ed-and- s i x t e e n i n d i v i d u a l m o t o r s and c o n t a i n s one-hundred- and-three p i p e s , each b e a r i n g a m a x i m u m l o a d of 1000 pounds, f l y i n g the window and c h a n d e l i e r i s a s i m p l e o p e r a t i o n . ^* The p r o j e c t i o n s y s t e m i s c o m p o s e d of s i x s c r e e n s ( t h i r t y - s i x - f e e t - b y - f i f t e e n - s i x t e e n - f e e t ) j o i n e d by s i x m i r r o r s ( t h i r t y - s i x - f e e t - b y - eight - ten-feet). (See t e c h n i c a l d r a w i n g no. 2. ) The i m a g e s , p a i n t e d on s e v e n - i n c h - b y - s e v e n - i n c h g l a s s s l i d e s ^ a r e r e a r p r o j e c t e d by twelve 5000 k i l o w a t t p r o j e c t o r s , w i t h two p r o j e c t o r s a s s i g n e d to e ach s c r e e n . When p l a c e d w i t h the s l i d e p a r a l l e l to the s c r e e n at a d i s t a n c e of twenty feet, each s l i d e w i l l p r o j e c t an i m a g e a p p r o x i m a t e l y e i g h t e e n - f e e t - b y - eighteen-feet, thus r e q u i r i n g one p r o j e c t o r to c o v e r the top h a l f and one to c o v e r the l o w e r h a l f of each s c r e e n . 15. H e r m a n E. K r a w i t z , A n I n t r o d u c t i o n to the M e t r o p o l i t a n O p e r a House, p. 40. 10 T h e C o s t u m e s In d e s i g n i n g the c o s t u m e s , I have a d h e r e d c l o s e l y to the cu t a n d s i l h o u e t t e of 1895 -96 , a c c e n t u a t i n g and e x a g g e r a t i n g the f o r m i n o r d e r to e m p h a s i z e " the a e r i a l t h r u s t w h i c h i s p o r t r a y e d b y the h e a d a n d b o s o m . The i m p r e s s i o n c o n v e y e d s h o u l d be one of s i m p l i c i t y as fa r as the B o h e m i a n s a r e c o n c e r n e d , c o n t r a s t e d s h a r p l y w i t h d r a m a t i c M u s e t t a and s o m e of the c i t y p e o p l e i n v o l v e d i n A c t II. In the c o s t u m e s f o r w h i c h i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e , a n u m b e r of the d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of L a u t r e c ' s s t y l e of p a i n t i n g have b e e n i n c o p r o r a t e d , but have b e e n sof tened i n o r d e r to b e c o m e m o r e r o m a n t i c . T h e o v e r a l l c o l o u r s c h e m e e m p h a s i z e s d a r k c o l o u r s : g r e y s , g r e e n s , s o m e b l u e s , and b l a c k for the m e n , a c c e n t u a t e d b y b r i g h t a c c e s s o r i e s w h i l e the w o m e n a r e i n p a l e r shades : l a v e n d e r , b e i g e , e c r u , and b l u e s , h i g h l i g h t e d w i t h b r i g h t and c o n t r a s t i n g c o l o u r s . In r e s e a r c h i n g the c o l o u r s , I r e l i e d m o s t l y on the p o s t e r s of a r t i s t s l i k e C h e r e t a n d L a u t r e c for the b r i g h t c o m b i n a t i o n s ( o r a n g e s , y e l l o w s , p u r p l e s and r e d s , u s u a l l y set off a g a i n s t b l a c k ) and on the p a i n t i n g s of D e g a s , B o n n a r d and L a u t r e c ' s e a r l y w o r k for the d a r k e r , m u t e d c o m b i n a t i o n s . M u s e t t a , as an e n t e r t a i n e r and a coque t te i s m o s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of L a u t r e c and h e r " d o o r k n o c k e r " h a i r s t y l e s , h e r m a k e - u p , and e m p h a t i c b l a c k a c c e s s o r i e s s h o u l d r e f l e c t the t h e a t r i c a l , s o m e w h a t s u p e r - f i c i a l q u a l i t y of L a u t r e c ' s women^but even she cannot b e c o m e too h a r s h , a n d s h o u l d a l w a y s e x p r e s s f r e s h n e s s and j o y t h r o u g h h e r a p p e a r a n c e . H e r c o l o u r s : b l a c k , w h i t e a n d v a r i o u s shades of p u r p l e , r e f l e c t the 16. P a r k e r T y l e r , D e g a s / L a u t r e c , p . 128. 11 s t r o n g c o n t r a s t so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of L a u t r e c , as w e l l as her d e s i r e to c r e a t e an effect both as an e n t e r t a i n e r and as a woman. H e r f i n a l c o s t u m e i s m o r e somber but s t i l l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , i n k e e p i n g w i t h the mood of the f i n a l A c t of the opera. A l t h o u g h M i m i 1 s c o s t u m e s c o n t a i n a lot of bl u e and brown, these c o l o u r s a r e b r i g h t and s t r o n g hues, r e f l e c t i n g the independence and s p i r i t of the l i t t l e s e a m s t r e s s . H e r f i n a l costume, made f r o m a v e r y pale, ( a l m o s t white) shade of dove g r e y v e l v e t heightens not on l y her d e a t h - l i k e appearance, but i n d i c a t e s a l s o that she has r e t u r n e d to R o d o l f o f r o m a w e a l t h i e r w o r l d . R o d o l f o i s d r e s s e d i n greens and r u s t s , w i t h b l a c k and orange h i g h l i g h t s . The soft s c a r f t i e d i n a l a r g e f l o p p y bow and h i s r a g g e d j a c k e t and cap give h i m a h i g h l y r o m a n t i c , b o y i s h , and v e r y c a s u a l a p p e a r a n c e and u n d e r l i n e h i s m e a g e r l i v e l i h o o d . M a r c e l l o , though a l s o an i m p o v e r i s h e d a r t i s t , i n c o n t r a s t to R o d o l f o , i s d r e s s e d v e r y d r a m a t i c a l l y , and his a p p e a r a n c e i s m o r e w o r l d l y , thus e s t a b l i s h i n g a d e f i n i t e r e l a t i o n s h i p to M u s e t t a . In h i s s t r i k i n g cape and b l a c k w i d e - b r i m m e d hat w i t h a deep r e d s c a r f ( r e c a l l i n g L,autrec's " A r i s t i d e B r u a n t " ) , M a r c e l l o a p p e a r s a m o r e t y p i c a l " a r t i s t " . The c o s t u m e of Shaunard, the m u s i c i a n , r e f l e c t s an attempt to look g r a n d that i s t h w a r t e d by h i s p o v e r t y w h i c h has r e s t r i c t e d h i s w a r d - r o b e to a s i n g l e , f r a y e d , i l l - f i t t i n g and a n c i e n t b l a c k m o r n i n g coat. He has t r i e d to s p r u c e i t up w i t h a c o l o u r f u l s c a r f and a f o r m a l w h i t e s h i r t , n e i t h e r of w h i c h a r e i n any b e t t e r c o n d i t i o n than the coat. C o l l i n e , on the other hand, i s quite u n c o n c e r n e d about h i s ap- pearance. S i n c e the m a i n obje c t of h i s o v e r c o a t i s to keep out the 12 cold and to provide enough pockets for all of his numerous books, the heavy, tweedy olive green coat fulfills its purpose. Though not sloppy in appearance, Colline is not dressed with any regard for fashion,and the coat is at least ten years old. Benoit, the landlord is seedy and, since he fancies himself to be a "ladies' man", he is dressed in a fashionable but sloppy pair of navy blue and red striped trousers and a flashy gold patterned vest which are totally inappropriate for his age and figure and only serve to emphasize the ridiculousness of this greedy little man. Alcindoro is like Lautrec's "Englishman": a paragon of stiff and perfect fashion, whose precision and preposterous formality are reflected in his evening dress, complete with walking stick, silk top hat, and boutonnier. In Set II the chorus is composed of people from all social classes: gaudily dress ed whor es; romantic but impr overished students; rebellious artists and thinkers; and fashionable upper class ladies and gentlemen. The colours used for the men are very dark, with special emphasis on black, while the women are dressed in brighter shades, with the whores in gaudy yellow, orange,and magenta contrasted with black. The scene reflects the gaiety and celebration of Paris at Christmas and the crowd provides a colourful but not distracting background for the action in the cafe. In Act III the chorus, in keeping with the cold and more somber mood of the scene, is dressed in very dark shades with special emphasis on the muted plum, taupe and blue shades also used in the setting. Since it is the lower class people who must set off for work in the city before dawn, poverty is reflected in their humble, makeshift costumes. 13 S u m m a t i o n In m a k i n g the d e c i s i o n to c h o o s e L a B o h e m e as a t h e s i s p r o j e c t I w a s a t t r a c t e d not o n l y b y the b e a u t y of P u c c i n i ' s m a s t e r p i e c e , but a l s o b y i t s a p p a r e n t s i m p l i c i t y . T h o u g h i n r e a l i t y , a v e r y i n t r i c a t e p i e c e of m u s i c a l c r a f t s m a n s h i p j u x t a p o s e d w i t h a c h a r m i n g , e n t i r e l y r o m a n t i c , a n d e v e n n a i v e s t o r y , the d e s i g n of the o p e r a s e e m s to d e m a n d a s i m i l a r - l y a p p a r e n t l y s i m p l e a p p r o a c h . It i s the c h a r m and the r o m a n c e that s h o u l d be i t s o u t s t a n d i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . P a r i s i n the 1890 ' s w i t h h e r gay facade d i s g u i s i n g any s a d n e s s , and h e r d e s i r e fo r e x p r e s s i o n g i v i n g b i r t h to a w e a l t h of e x c i t i n g a r t i s t s p r o v i d e d m e w i t h a m o s t a p p r o p r i a t e s e t t i n g fo r the d e s i g n a p p r o a c h . 14 S E L E C T E D B I B L I O G R A P H Y 1. A d h e m a r , .Jean. T o u l o u s e - L a u t r e c . L o n d o n : T h a m e s and H u d s o n , 1965. ; 2 . C h a r m e t , R a y m o n d . U t r i l l o ' s P a r i s . S w i t z e r l a n d : F r e n c h E u r o p e a n P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1909. 3. C u n n i n g t o n , C . W i l l e t . E n g l i s h W o m e n ' s C l o t h i n g i n the N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y . L o n d o n : F a b e r and F a b e r , L i m i t e d , 1937. 4. C u n n i n g t o n , C . W i l l e t t and P h i l l i s . Handbook of E n g l i s h C o s t u m e i n the N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y . L o n d o n : F a b e r and F a b e r , L i m i t e d , 1959. 5. D o u g l a s , C h a r l e s . A r t i s t Q u a r t e r . L o n d o n : F a b e r and F a b e r , L i m i t e d , 1941. 6. F r e e m a n , John U . " F a r e w e l l , Swee t A w a k e n i n g . " O p e r a N e w s , V o l . 22 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y , 1958. 7. G r i f f i t h , K a t e r i n e . " A M e t h o d to the M a d c a p s . " O p e r a N e w s , V o l . 22 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y , 1958. 8. K r a w i t z , H e r m a n E . M e t r o p o l i t a n O p e r a H o u s e , N e w Y o r k : S a t u r d a y R e v i e w , I n c . , 1967. 9. L a s s a i g n e , J a c q u e s . T o u l o u s e - L a u t r e c , P a r i s : E d i t i o n s H y p e r i o n . 1939. 10. L i b e r m a n , A l e x a n d e r . T h e A r t i s t i n h i s S t u d i o . N e w Y o r k : T h e V i k i n g P r e s s , Inc. , I 960 . 11 . M u r g e r , H e n r y . V i e de B o h e m e . T r a n s l a t e d b y N . C a m e r o n . L o n d o n : T h e F o l i o S o c i e t y , I 960 . 12. P u c c i n i , G i a c o m o . L a B o h e m e . T r a n s l a t e d b y E . B l e i l e r . N e w Y o r k : D o v e r P u b l i c a t i o n s , Inc . , 1962. 13. S c h a r d t , H e r m a n n , ed. P a r i s 1900. L o n d o n : T h a m e s and a n d H u d s o n , 1970. 14. S k i r a , A l b e r t . P a r i s i n O u r T i m e . . P a r i s : / . E d i t i o n s d ' A r t • A l b e r t S k i r a , 1957. .-. ; 15. T y l e r , P a r k e r . D e g a / L a u t r e c . W o r l d A r t S e r i e s . N e w Y o r k D o u b l e d a y and C o . , Inc . , 1968. LA BOHEME INSTRUMENT SCHEDULE ASTRID JANSON NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 1. 1000 8 " l e i c o l e f t box Area 1 c l e a r 25 25 2. „ r i g h t " •i 3 3 26 26 3. „ l e f t " • i 2 c l e a r 27 27 4. „ r i g h t " I I 2 3 27 27 5. » l e f t " I I 3 c l e a r 26 26 A l l area 6. „ r i g h t " I I 1 3 25 25 l i g h t s shut 7. 1 F.:O.H. Area 1 c l e a r 25 25 tered where 8. .. n 3 c l e a r 26 26 necessary t 9. ti 1 36 28 28 minimize:: io'. » I I 3 36 30 30 s p i l l on 11. „ I I 2 c l e a r 27 27 screens 12. „ I I 2 36 29 29 13. „ H 2 36 29 29 14. V • i 3 36 30 30 15. » I I 1 36" 28 28 16. ,1 3 36:' 30 30 17. I I 1 36: 28 28 18. • i 2 36 29 29 1. 1000 8"Leico Bridge #1. Area 6 c l e a r 31 31 2.\ « 11 . ft V. H 6 3 34 34 3. I I I I it 5 c l e a r 32 32 4. M I I I I 5 3 35 35 5. I I I I H 4 c l e a r 33 33 6.. •I I I I I 4 3 36 36 2. NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 7. 1000 8"Leico BRIDGE,#1. Area 4 3 36 36 8. •1 I I I I it 5 c l e a r 32 32 9. It I I I I it 6 c l e a r 31 31 i o . II ti I I I I 4 36 37 37 i i . II n it it 5 36 38 38 12. II ti •i ii 6 36 39 39 1. 1000 8"Leico Pipe #3 Area l ( b a c k ) 3 40 40 2. II H I I I I i " 17 40 40 3 « •1 I I •i I I 2 " 3 41 41 4. II it I I I I 2 " 17 41 41 5. It I I I I H '3 " 3 42 42 6. II I I ti 3 " 17 42 42 1. 1000 8"Leico Pipe #5 Area 4(back) 3 43 43 2. II H it it 4 " 17 43 43 4. II I I ii 5 " 3 44 44 5. II •t it I I 5 " 17 44 44 6. II ti I I H 6 " 3 45 45 7. II ti it •i 6 " 17 45 45 ACT 1 1. 1000 12"Beam Pipe #4 Window back 17 46 46 P r o j e c t o r 2. I I I I I I it 55 46 46 3. II I I I I I I 17 46 46 4. II it ti it 55 46 46 5. . II I I ti I I 17 44 44 .HO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 1000 Beam P r o j . Pipe #4 Window back 55 47 47 7. it ti •i 17 47 47 1. 1000 8"Fresnel Bridge #1 Door s p e c i a l 3 48 48 2. II it n it 3 48 48 3. II I I ti Table area 4 49 49 4. It ti ti ti 4 49 49 5. It I I Easel (bed) 3 50 50 1., 1000 8'-'Fresnel Bridge #2 Stove 3 51 51 2 • II ti ti I I 3 52 52 6. If it Bridge #1 S t a i r s 3 53 53 1. S p e c i a l Table lamp Table 33 54 54 2. it Stove F i r e l i g h t 34 55 55 1. 8" by 8' s t r i p F l o o r of F o o t l i g h t s 2,38 56 56 wagon 2. I I it •i it 56 56 Act I I 1. S p e c i a l Chandelier 4 57 57 9. 1000 8"Fresnel Bridge #1 S t a i r s 2 58 58 10. •i it it it 2 58 58 11. it it Bridge #2 Doors 2 59 59 12. •I I I •t I I 2 59 59 5. 1000 8"Fresnel Bridge #1 Table r i g h t 2 60 60 NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 6. 1000 8' "Fresnel Bridge #1 Table r i g h t 2 60 60 7. It it ".' l e f t 2 61 61 8. tt I I •I I I 2 61 61 1. 6" by 6* S t r i p Overhead under E x t e r i o r 5,6, 62 62 awning wind ow 2 2. 6"by 3' <« I I it I I 62 62 3. 6"by 6' n I I ti it 62 62 4. 6"by 3* H it ti ti 62 62 5. 8"by 8' it F l o o r of wagon F o o t l i g h t s 1,8 63 63 21. 6. I I it I I 63 63 7. I I I I it tt 64 64 8. it I I it it 64 64 Act I I I • 1. 1000 8 "Leico Bridge #2 Tree shadow 20 65 65 2. " I I •t • ti ti 65 65 Gobo to 3. " H I I it it 65 65 match 4. " H it it it 65 65 t r e e 5. " •• ti it it 65 65 shape 6. " H Bridge #4 ti tt 66 66 7. " it ti it 66 66 8. " I I •I •t H 66 66 9. " » I I it tt 66 66 10. " i» it •t tt 66 66 11. " H Pipe #5 » tt 67 67 12. " •i ti tt • tt 67 67 5. NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 13. 1000 8"Leico Pipe #5 Tree shadow 20 67 67 14. II it it it H 67 67 15. II I I it •i H 67 67 16. II I I Pipe #6 ' n it 68 68 17. II tt ti I I it 68 68 18. II it •i it it 68 68 19. •1 it it it « 68 68 20. II I I ti it ti 68 68 1. 1000 8"Leico Pipe #6 Gate(back) 17 69 69 2. It I I it 17 69 69 3. 1000 8"Fresnel Bridge#3 Stage r i g h t 17 70 70 4. II n n 17 70 70 5. It I I •t Gate 17 71 71 6. II I I I I 17 71 71 7. II it •i Stage l e f t 17 72 72 8. . II I I I I " 17 72 72 9. S p e c i a l Gate lamps 4 73 73 10. I I •t 4 73 73 1. 2. 8 "by n 8* s t r i p P l a s t e r l i n e I I F o o t l i g h t s 1 ,8 , 21 it ti 74 74 74 74 3. I I it it it 75 75 4. I I I I I I I I 75 75 1. F o l l o w spots F.O.H. c l e a r 2,17 13 13 6. NO.tfATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION FOCUS GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 2. F o l l o w spots 3. 4. 5. " 6. 6. F.O.H. Bridge #1. Bridge #2 Di s t . f r o m screen 1. 5000 P r o j e c t o r 20' 2. 3. 4. 7. 8. 9. " 10. " 11. " 12. " TOTALS Instruments used; 8"Leico (1000W) 8"Fresnel(1000W) 12"Beam P r o j e c t o r S p e c i a l s 8"by8' S t r i p s 6"by6'' S t r i p s 6"by3' S t r i p s F o l l o w spots P r o j e c t o r s TOTAL Number i 82 22 7 5 10 2 2 6 ' 12 c l e a r , 2,17 14 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 o 7 8 9 10 10 11 11 12 12             M I M I A C T X , H E .           1 / I I I \ f > IS \ \ \ \ \ \ P \ \ 7  t 1 I Q ) ) .17* IL -4. r-r \ 41 ~ ,„„,•,̂ .„|, M , ; / ^ 2? I '13*' ' 9 0* / * .10. '. o 0 /.Of. A i f f / -v.--^r——--n • a 1 P^u*-^ 0 u | 0^ APfcwJIZ. y 0 « . i to 

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