UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

La Bohème : a design Janson, Astrid 1972

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LA BOHEME:  A DESIGN  by ASTRID  JANSON  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 THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the ' d e p a r t m e n t •  o  f  Theatre  W e a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April,  1972  In  presenting  this  an advanced degree the I  Library  further  for  shall  agree  thesis  in  at  University  the  make  it  partial  freely  of  his  that permission for  of  this  representatives. thesis  for  It  financial  is  gain  University  """j^cAT^^T of  B r i t i s h Columbia  Vancouver 8, Canada  for  extensive by the  shall  not  'the  requirements  Columbia, reference  copying o f  I  agree  and this  copying or  be a l l o w e d  thesis or  publication  w i t h o u t my  for  that  study.  Head o f my Department  u n d e r s t o o d that  written permission.  Department .of  British  available  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d  by  The  fu 1 f i l m e h t ' o f  ABSTRACT  T h i s t h e s i s i s a d e s i g n f o r P u c c i n i ' s o p e r a , L a Boheme, which-I have s e t i n t h e 1890»s i n s t e a d o f t h e l S 3 0 ' s i n which P u c c i n i o r i g i n a l l y s e t i t . The main r e a s o n f o r t h i s p e r i o d change i s based on t h e f a c t t h a t the music, t h e s p i r i t , and t h e c h a r a c t e r s t h e m s e l v e s , seem t o 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 t h e g l i t t e r , t h e charm, and t h e a r t i s t i c mood o f t h e "gay n i n e t i e s " . I have s e t t h e opera on t h e M e t r o p o l i t a n Opera House s t a g e , and have i n c l u d e d - p h o t o g r a p h s  o f t h e • h a l f - i n c h s c a l e model c o n s t r u c t e d f o r  t h i s purpose. The a c t u a l s e t t i n g s a r e s i m p l e , s u g g e s t i n g o n l y t h e b a s i c 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 t h e background - a system o f p r o j e c t i o n s c r e e n s and m i r r o r s , t o predominate and f i l t e r t h r o u g h t h e action constantly.  "  , I n d e s i g n i n g t h e costumes, I have adhered c l o s e l y t o t h e s i l h o u e t t e o f t h e 1590's, e x a g g e r a t i n g ,  s i m p l i f y i n g , o r emphasizing p a r t i c u l a r  elements i n o r d e r t o h e i g h t e n t h e i r d r a m a t i c  e f f e c t . I have a s s i g n e d  c i f i c , r e s t r i c t e d c o l o u r schemes t o t h e c h r a c t e r s which I c o n s i d e r e d  speappro-  p r i a t e and i n c h a r a c t e r . 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, t h e m a j o r i t y o f  the r e s e a r c h i n t o t h e p e r i o d i s .centred around t h e p a i n t i n g s o f T o u l o u s e L a u t r e c , 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 p o s t e r s o f L a u t rec,  C h e r e t , and o t h e r t u r n - o f - t h e - c e n t u r y 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 i n s t r u m e n t romantic  artists.  schedule. Generally speaking,  charm, s i m p l i c i t y , and a  nood, a r e t h e q u a l i t i e s f o r . w h i c h I s t r o v e i n t h e d e s i g n o f t h e opera  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  L i s t of I l l u s t r a t i o n s Acknowledgments I L a B o h e m e i n 1895 II T h e D e s i g n of the S e t t i n g s a n d C o s t u m e s The Settings The  Costumes  Summation  Selected Bibliography Illustrations Technical Drawings  ii  LIST OF  ILLUSTRATIONS page  The Costumes 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.  Shaunard  18  4.  Colline  19  5.  M i m i ( A c t I)  20  6.  Benoit  21  7.  M u s e t t a ( A c t II)  22  8.  Alcindoro  23  9.  M i m i ( A c t II,  10.  M a r c e l l o ( A c t II,  11.  R o d o l f o ( A c t II, III)  12.  C h o r u s ( A c t II)  III)  24 III)  25 26  a)  The Whores  27  b)  The Students  28  c)  T h e L a d y a n d the A r t i s t  29  13.  Parpignol  30  14.  M u s e t t a ( A c t III)  31  15.  The Tollgate Sergeant  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  iii  page The Settings, 1.  A c t I, I V  36  2.  A c t II  37  3.  A c t III  38  Technical Drawings  iv  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  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 : Deanna S i l v e r s t e r ; Steve Geaghan; Steve  Miller;  L o r n a and A l e x Gunn; V e r a A m a l i a ; H . A . S i m o n s (International) t h a n k s to B r i a n  L t d . ; Senor B a c a r d i ; and s p e c i a l Parker.  I L A B O H E M E I N 1895  I n 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 1 9 0 1 , a N e w York Times critic, rather  W. J. Henderson,  a d m i t t e d that "the  audience  s e e m e d to e n j o y the P u c c i n i o p e r a . " H e t h e n c o m m e n t e d o n the  u n f o r t u n a t e 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 , ended his a r t i c l e w i t h a thoughtful judgment:  "Nevertheless,  and  we cannot  b e l i e v e that t h e r e i s p e r m a n e n t s u c c e s s f o r a n o p e r a c o n s t r u c t e d as t h i s one i s . "  Another c r i t i c dutifully upheld V i c t o r i a n p r o p r i e t y in  the s t a t e m e n t that " M u r g e r ' s L a V i e de B o h e m e f o r the b o o k of a n o p e r a . " as e x e m p l i f i e d b y A i d a . premieres,  is h a r d l y suitable  O t h e r s s i g h e d f o r a r e t u r n to g r a n d o p e r 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  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 a b o u t t i e d w i t h A i d a a s the o p e r a m o s t o f t e n g i v e n b y the Metropolitan. A l t h o u g h P u c c i n i s e t the o p e r a i n the 1 8 3 0 ' s ,  there are 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 i n t o the 1 8 9 0 ' s the m o s t o b v i o u s b e i n g t h a t P u c c i n i c o m p l e t e d i t i n 1896 a n d r e f l e c t e d h i s o w n t i m e i n b o t h the m u s i c a n d 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 b e c h o s e n a s 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 s p o n t a n e i t y . There are 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 a n o t h e r so n a t u r a l l y t h a t 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 n e w one f o r the f i r s t t i m e . A r i a s a n d d u e t s , the s o - c a l l e d s e t 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.  Giacomo Puccini,  L a Boheme, trans,  by E . H . B l e i l e r ,  p. 22.  2  o f t e n t h e y 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 singer 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 connected b y their setting and c h a r a c t e r s , casual,  even s e e m i n g l y d i s o r g a n i z e d , continuity.  the r e s u l t h a s a " 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 a n d the a p p a r e n 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 plays."  '  Therefore,  the m u s i c a n d the s t o r y ,  unlike operas composed  i n the 1 8 3 0 ' s ( R o s s i n i ' s , f o 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 ,  more  n o v e l i n c o n c e p t i o n and style, although P u c c i n i does r e v e a l a h i g h degree  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 e n o u g h n o t to a l l o w to i n t r u d e  o n the d r a m a t i c e f f e c t .  F o r example,  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 ideas 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  structure.  " T h e l a v i s h , f u n d of m e l o d y i s a c t u a l l y u n d e r f i r m c o n t r o l ; a r t itself - L a Boheme still seems The characters  spontaneous.  in L a Boheme were contemporary figures,  standard operatic cut-outs,  t y p i c a l l i f e of " t h e a r t i s t " ,  2.  his adventures,  its artistic expression,  survival,  a n d of c o u r s e ,  T h e d e p i c t i o n of the his fervent c o n c e r n with his basic struggle for  s e e m e d to r e a c h a p e a k of r o m a n t i c i n t e n s i t y at the end of the  Katherine Griffith, Vol.  not  a n d the w h o l e w o r k " s t r e s s e d p a t h o s a n d  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 .  love,  conceals  " 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 ,  2 2 , 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.  John F r e e m a n , " F a r e w e l l , Sweet Awakening", V o l . 2 2 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y , 1958, p . 11.  in Opera News,  3 n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; a n d 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 around him.  H o w e v e r , it s e e m s that an e r a a l w a y s b e c o m e s  romantic in retrospect.  more  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 o n the  R i v e G a u c h e i n the 1 8 3 0 ' s w i t h p o e t i c a n d f r a n k s e n t i m e n t a l i t y ,  surely  w e r e g a r d l i f e o n the s l o p e s of M o n t m a r t r e i n the ' 9 0 ' s w i t h the  same  romantic nostalgia. 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 h e r e c a m e a t i m e f o 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 them differently, 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 penitent m o o d and passed. F o r g l i t t e r a n d c h a r m t h i s n e w age w a s u n s u r p a s s e d a n d r e a c h e d a p e a k 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 a n d the e r e c t i o n of the E i f f e l T o w e r . Zola,  Pasteur,  The names a s s o c i a t e d w i t h this p e r i o d ;  M a r i e and P i e r r e C u r i e ,  e x c i t i n g p r o g r e s s i n e v e r y f a c e t of l i f e . a n a b u n d a n c e of " s u p e r b r e s t a u r a n t s ,  Becquerel, Debussy,  It w a s t h i s p e r i o d w h i c h p r o d u c e d  w i t h a l l the m a s t e r p i e c e s  c u l i n a r y a r t a n d 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 , a n d of c o u r s e ,  promised  of the bridges,  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 i g h 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 for c u l t u r a l ideas, great contrasts, world.  P a r i s , a c i t y of  a t t r a c t e d a r t i s t s a n d f o r e i g n e r s f r o m a l l o v e r the  It w a s a g o l d e n age f o r 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  b e b o u g h t f o r n e x 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 a n d 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 2 0 0 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.  Hermann Schardt,  7.  i b i d . , p. 8-9.  e d . , P a r i s 1 9 0 0 , p . 7.  could  4  s c o r n e d w i t h l a u g h t e r , a n d no o n e e v e n c a m e to s e e the p i c t u r e . T h o s e w h o c a m e to s e e t h e p a i n t i n g s of V a n G o g h , C e z a n n e , M o n e t , a n d G a u g u i n , p r i c e d a t 40 - 100 f r a n c s , " l e f t v a s t l y a m u s e d o r s t r u c k Q dumb with astonishment. " • As  P a r i s grew, m o v i n g into her second 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 Quarter,  its inhabitants w e r e compelled  to m o v e 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 a n d t h e e x c i t e m e n t to b e derived f r o m creative w o r k had its living roots i n the f r i e n d s h i p a n d t r u s t of a l i k e - m i n d e d c o m m u n i t y . Therefore,  p a i n t e r s , poets,  and musicians,  with their wives, children,  and m i s t r e s s e s m a d e t h e i r w a y a c r o s s the c i t y a n d 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 c h e a p l o d g i n g s c o u l d b e 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 s t u d i o s that s e e m e d t o h a v e b e e n t h r o w n t o g e t h e r  from  9  a s c r a p heap." It w a s t h e l o c a l b i s t r o s a n d c a f e s w h i c h w e r e t h e r e g u l a r m e e t i n g p l a c e s of t h e B o h e m i a n s a n d o n e i n p a r t i c u l a r , " L e C h a t N o i r " i s l i n k e d w i t h m a n y p e r s o n a l i t i e s of t h a t p e r i o d w h o h a v e r e m a i n e d ( o r s i n c e b e c o m e ) f a m o u s - 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 , " t h e 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 t h e f i r s t and soon  habitues,  d o z e n s of t h e g r e a t n a m e s c o u l d b e s e e n t h e r e n i g h t a f t e r  night. It w a s 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 nightly. . . i na black velvet jacket and wide b r i m m e d h a t a n d s a n g t h e c o a r s e s o n g s 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 n e w s p i r i t w a s r e f l e c t e d i n e v e r y f a c e t of l i v i n g - a r t w a s no l o n g e r to b e r e g a r d e d as a l u x u r y a n d n o t h i n g s e e m e d so s i m p l e o r so h u m b l e t h a t i t c o u l d not b e e n n o b l e d b y the a r t i s t .  P u c c i n i ' s L a Boheme is a  p r i m e e x a m p l e of t h 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 a n d 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 again b e c a m e an e s s e n t i a l feature of p e o p l e s ' l i v e s a n d 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 , a n d i t s dust-trap curtains which had been fashionable until 1 8 9 0 , d i s a p p e a r e d a n d w a s r e p l a c e d b y one t h a t featured 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 light woods. T h e l a s t y e a r s of the c e n t u r y f o u n d 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 , t h a t 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 f e w exceptions - turned their 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 f o r the s t r e e t , f o r e v e r y d a y l i f e a n d n o t 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 . human figure was always predominant, very unusual combinations. monde (whom  The  the c o l o u r s v i b r a n t a n d o f t e n i n  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 -  l i t e r a t u r e had made acceptable) and dancers and  singers  " p o s e w i t h g a y a b a n d o n 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 s e e t h 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 n o t s e e 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 spectacles. B e h i n d the s m i l e o n 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 d e t e c 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 e e f i g u r e s ,  the fat r o u e ,  the  c o q u e t t e a n d the t i r e d d a n d y a r e so p o r t r a y e d a s to e v o k e h u n d r e d s of similar characters  10.  i b i d . , p. 1 3 .  11.  j b i d . , p. 9.  12.  i b i d . , p. 15.  i n the P a r i s of the ' 9 0 ' s .  T h e f a c t that, b e h i n d t h i s  6 f a c a d e of g a y 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 n h a b i t a n t s of the c i t y .  Lautrec, however,  very much 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 , d e t e c t i t s b a s i c ambiguities, "  • and painted its people with stark,  often c r u e l ,  yet  very human r e a l i s m . I n the g l i t t e r a n d e x c i t e m e n t of t h i s w o r l d b e l o n g the 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 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 " . consequences,;  characters permeated  E x t r e m e p o v e r t y w i t h its t r a g i c  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  a n u n d a u n t e d 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 t h o u g h t a n d 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 THE DESIGN OF T H E SETTINGS, COSTUMES  The  Settings  In d e s i g n i n g the s e t t i n g s f o r L a B o h e m e , the b a s i c a p p r o a c h t a k e n w a s to s i m p l i f y t h e a c t u a l s t r u c t u r e of t h e s e t s , a n d m e r e l y t o s u g g e s t 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 d o e s t h r o u g h t h e l i v e s of P u c c i n i ' s c h a r a c t e r s .  This  a t t e m p t to e x p o s e t h e 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 b e a  c r u c i a l c o n c e p t i n staging 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 b y s i x m i r r o r s o f t h e s a m e h e i g h t 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 .  T h e p u r p o s e of t h e s e i s n o t to r e p l a c e  painted  b a c k d r o p s , b u t to p r o d u c e an i n t e r e s t i n g a n d 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 t h e a n g l e of i t s p l a c e m e n t , a s i n g l e m i r r o r m a y  reflect  e i t h e r t h e i m a g e of a s i n g l e s c r e e n o r 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 o n one a n o t h e r t h u s g i v i n g a f e e l i n g of i n c r e a s e d The  depth.  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 h a n d 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 d e g r e e , f o r c e s t h e p e r s p e c t i v e of the b u i l d i n g s a n d s t r e e t s . the m i r r o r s ,  T h i s e f f e c t i s h e i g h t e n e d b y t h e r e f l e c t i o n of  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 f e e t b y s i x t e e n f e e t ) a n d i n o r d e r t h a t the b a c k g r o u n d m i g h t n o t 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 ,  details  are  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 a n d the l i n e s s o f t e n e d ; a n d the b a s i c motifs are repeated with only minor variations.  A l t h o u g h the  audience  w o u l d at a l l t i m e s b e 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 a n d m i r r o r s w o u l d n e v e r i n t r u d e o n the i n t i m a c y of c e r t a i n scenes and w o u l d t h e r e f o r e be d i m m e d when In r e s e a r c h i n g ,  turn-of-the-century  necessary.  painting, I was  impressed  b y the s t r e n g t h a n d 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 streets.  H e d i s t i l l e d a n d 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 14  " 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 . " Although,  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 n o t a t t e m p t 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 t h o s e 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 example,  a l m o s t i d e n t i c a l s o l i d buildings, c r a m p e d together along a n a r r o w with their m a n s a r d roofs,  numerous  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  the  street,  c h i m n e y s a n d d a r k s l i t s as w i n d o w s , 1890's.  Technical Explanations F o r the p u r p o s e s of t h i s p r o j e c t L a B o h e m e h a s b e e n s e t on the s t a g e 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 designer with practically limitless freedom.  14.  Albert Skira,  P a r i s i n Our T i m e , p. 91.  T h e p r o s c e n i u m a r c h of the  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 h a v e m a s k e d d o w n 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 s t a g e i t s e l f i s e i g h t y f e e t d e e p a n d one  f e e t w i d e , f l a n k e d b y two  hundred  s i d e s t a g e s a d d i n g a n o t h e r s i x t y f e e t of s p a c e  on e a c h s i d e of the m a i n s t a g e .  T h e s e side stages contain 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 s e t s w o u l d b e  completely  a s s e m b l e d a n d r o l l e d on w h e n n e c e s s a r y w h i l e the m a i n s t a g e w a g o n w i t h i t s s e t w o u l d b e r o l l e d b a c k i n t o the r e a r s t a g e a r e a ( s i x t y - f e e t - b y s i x t y - f e e t ) t h u s f a c i l i t a t i n g a n d s p e e d i n g up s c e n e c h a n g e s . S i n c e the f l y a p p a r a t u s 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 a n d - t h r e e p i p e s , e a c h b e a r i n g a m a x i m u m l o a d of 1000 the w i n d o w a n d 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  one-hundred-  pounds, f l y i n g  ^*  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 - sixteen-feet) j o i n e d by s i x m i r r o r s eight - ten-feet).  (See t e c h n i c a l d r a w i n g no.  2. ) T h e  (thirty-six-feet-byimages,  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 b y 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 a c h  painted twelve screen.  W h e n 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 t w e n t y f e e t , e a c h 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 eighteen-feet,  t h u s 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 a n d  to c o v e r the l o w e r h a l f of e a c h  15.  eighteen-feet-by-  screen.  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 H o u s e , p. 40.  one  10  The Costumes  In d e s i g n i n g the c o s t u m e s , a n d s i l h o u e t t e of 1 8 9 5 - 9 6 ,  I h a v e a d h e r e d c l o s e l y to the c u t  a c c e n t u a t i n g a n d 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 " t h e 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 and bosom.  T h e i m p r e s s i o n c o n v e y e d s h o u l d b e one of s i m p l i c i t y  a s f a r as the B o h e m i a n s a r e c o n c e r n e d ,  contrasted sharply with dramatic  M u s e t t a a n d 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. for w h i c h it is appropriate,  costumes  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 h a v e b e e n i n c o p r o r a t e d , s o f t e n e d 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 . emphasizes dark colours: men,  In the  greys,  greens,  but h a v e b e e n  The o v e r a l l colour  some blues,  scheme  and b l a c k for  the  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:  lavender,  beige,  contrasting colours.  ecru,  and blues,  highlighted with bright and  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 o n 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 f o r the b r i g h t c o m b i n a t i o n s (oranges,  y e l l o w s , purples and reds,  o n the p a i n t i n g s of D e g a s ,  u s u a l l y s e t off a g a i n s t b l a c k ) a n d  B o n n a r d a n d L a u t r e c ' s e a r l y w o r k f o r the  darker,  muted combinations. Musetta,  as an e n t e r t a i n e r  and a coquette is m o s t  characteristic  of L a u t r e c a n d 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 , emphatic black accessories  s h o u l d r e f l e c t the t h e a t r i c a l ,  f i c i a l q u a l i t y of L a u t r e c ' s w o m e n ^ b u t e v e n she and should always express freshness Her colours:  16.  Degas/Lautrec,  and j o y through her  p . 128.  somewhat  super-  c a n n o t b e c o m e too h a r s h ,  b l a c k , w h i t e a n d v a r i o u s s h a d e s of p u r p l e ,  Parker Tyler,  and  appearance. reflect  the  11  s t r o n g c o n t r a s t s o c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of L a u t r e c , a s w e l l a s h e r d e s i r e to c r e a t e a n effect both as a n e n t e r t a i n e r and as a woman.  Her final  costume is 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 , in keeping with the m o o d 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 s c o s t u m e s c o n t a i n a l o t of b l u e a n d b r o w n ,  these  1  c o l o u r s a r e b r i g h t a n d s t r o n g h u e s , r e f l e c t i n g the i n d e p e n d e n c e a n d 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 final costume, made f r o m a v e r y pale,  ( a l m o s t w h i t e ) s h a d e of d o v e g r e y v e l v e t h e i g h t e n s n o t o n l y h e r d e a t h - l i k e a p p e a r a n c e , b u t i n d i c a t e s a l s o that s h e h a s r e t u r n e d to R o d o l f o f r o m a wealthier world. Rodolfo is dressed i n greens and rusts, with black and orange highlights.  T h e 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 a n d h i s r a g g e d  jacket and cap give h i m a highly romantic,  boyish, and very casual  appearance and underline his meager livelihood. Marcello, Rodolfo,  though a l s o an i m p o v e r i s h e d  artist,  i n c o n t r a s t to  is 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 appearance 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  a n d b l a c k w i d e - b r i m m e d hat w i t h a d e e p 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 Bruant"), M a r c e l l o appears a more typical "artist". The  c o s t u m e of S h a u n a r d , the m u s i c i a n ,  r e f l e c t s a n a t t e m p t to  l o o k g r a n d that i s t h w a r t e d b y h i s p o v e r t y w h i c h h a s 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 a n d a n c i e n t b l a c k m o r n i n g c o a t . h a s t r i e d to s p r u c e i t u p w i t h a c o l o u r f u l s c a r f a n d a f o r m a l w h i t e  He shirt,  n e i t h e r of w h i c h a r e i n a n y b e t t e r c o n d i t i o n t h a n the c o a t . C o l l i n e , o n the o t h e r h a n d , i s q u i t e u n c o n c e r n e d a b o u t h i s a p pearance.  S i n c e the m a i n o b j e c t of h i s o v e r c o a t i s t o k e e p o u t t h e  12  c o l d and to provide enough pockets for a l l of h i s numerous books, the heavy, tweedy olive green coat f u l f i l l s its purpose.  Though not sloppy  in appearance, C o l l i n e is not d r e s s e d with any r e g a r d for fashion,and the coat is at least ten y e a r s old. Benoit, the landlord is seedy and, a "ladies' man",  since he fancies h i m s e l f to be  he is d r e s s e d i n a fashionable but sloppy pair of navy  blue and r e d striped t r o u s e r s and a flashy gold patterned vest which a r e totally inappropriate for his age and figure and only serve to emphasize the r i d i c u l o u s n e s s of this greedy little  man.  A l c i n d o r o is like Lautrec's "Englishman":  a paragon of stiff  and perfect fashion, whose p r e c i s i o n and preposterous f o r m a l i t y are r e f l e c t e d in his evening dress, complete with walking stick, silk top hat, and boutonnier. In Set II the chorus is composed of people f r o m a l l s o c i a l c l a s s e s : gaudily dress ed whor es;  romantic but impr o v e r i s h e d students; r e b e l l i o u s  a r t i s t s and thinkers; and fashionable upper c l a s s ladies and gentlemen. The c o l o u r s used for the men  are v e r y dark, with s p e c i a l emphasis on  black, while the women a r e d r e s s e d in b r i g h t e r shades, with the whores in gaudy yellow, orange,and magenta contrasted with black.  The  scene  r e f l e c t s the gaiety and c e l e b r a t i o n of P a r i s at C h r i s t m a s and the c r o w d p r o v i d e s a c o l o u r f u l but not d i s t r a c t i n g background for the action in the cafe. In A c t III the chorus, i n keeping with the c o l d and m o r e somber mood of the scene, is d r e s s e d in v e r y dark shades with s p e c i a l emphasis on the muted plum, taupe and blue shades also used in the setting. it is the lower c l a s s people who  Since  must set off for work in the city before  dawn, poverty is r e f l e c t e d in their humble, makeshift costumes.  13  Summation  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 a s a t h e s i s 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 , b y its apparent s i m p l i c i t y .  project but a l s o  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 craftsmanship juxtaposed with a charming, entirely romantic, and even naive story,  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 -  ly apparently simple approach.  It i s the c h a r m a n d the r o m a n c e t h a t  s h o u l d be its outstanding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . gay facade d i s g u i s i n g any sadness,  P a r i s i n the 1 8 9 0 ' s w i t h h e r  and her d e s i r e for e x p r e s s i o n giving  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 s e t t i n g f o r the d e s i g n a p p r o a c h .  appropriate  14  SELECTED  1.  Adhemar,  .Jean.  Toulouse-Lautrec.  Hudson, 2.  Charmet,  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Raymond.  Cunnington,  Utrillo's Paris.  C. Willet.  Limited, Cunnington,  E n g l i s h W o m e n ' s C l o t h i n g i n the London:  C . W i l l e t t and P h i l l i s .  Charles.  Limited, 6.  Freeman,  7.  Griffith,  8.  Krawitz,  London:  2 2 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y ,  F a b e r and  Faber,  Faber,  Opera News,  1958.  Metropolitan Opera House,  Jacques.  Opera News,  1958.  " A M e t h o d to the M a d c a p s . "  2 2 , N o . 15, F e b r u a r y ,  Hyperion. 10.  F a b e r and  " F a r e w e l l , Sweet A w a k e n i n g . "  Herman E.  Lassaigne,  London:  1941.  Saturday Review, Inc., 9.  Faber,  H a n d b o o k of E n g l i s h C o s t u m e  A r t i s t Quarter.  Katerine. Vol.  F a b e r and  1959.  John U . Vol.  French  1937.  Limited, Douglas,  Switzerland:  1909.  i n the N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y .  5.  and ;  Nineteenth Century.  4.  Thames  1965.  European Publications, 3.  London:  New York:  1967.  Toulouse-Lautrec,  Paris:  Editions  1939.  Liberman, Alexander.  The A r t i s t in his Studio.  The V i k i n g P r e s s ,  Inc. ,  I960.  New York:  11.  Murger,  Henry.  London: 12.  V i e de B o h e m e . The F o l i o Society,  Puccini, Giacomo. New York:  13.  Schardt,  Hermann,  and Hudson, 14.  Skira, Albert.  Translated by N .  L a Boheme.  I960.  Translated by E .  D o v e r P u b l i c a t i o n s , Inc. , ed.  P a r i s 1900.  Tyler, Parker.  London:  Bleiler.  1962. T h a m e s and  1970.  P a r i s in Our T i m e . . P a r i s : /.Editions d ' A r t •  A l b e r t S k i r a , 1957. 15.  Cameron.  Dega/Lautrec.  D o u b l e d a y and C o . , Inc. ,  .-. ; World A r t Series. 1968.  New Y o r k  LA BOHEME  INSTRUMENT SCHEDULE  NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT 1. 1000 8 " l e i c o 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  „ „ „  l e f t box  »  11.  •i  2  "  "  right " 1  F.:O.H.  ..  »  „  „  16.  5. 6..  . ft  V.  H  II  II  it  M  II  II  II  II  H  •I  II  II  27 27  c l e a r 26 26 3  All  area  25 25  l i g h t s shut  c l e a r 25 25  t e r e d where  c l e a r 26 26  necessary t  36  28 28  minimize::  3  36  30 30  s p i l l on  •i  « 11  3  1  II  B r i d g e #1.  c l e a r 27 27  ti  ,1  1000 8 " L e i c o  1  26 26  3  II  18.  3  CIR. DIM. NOTES  n  •i  17.  3  2  Area 1  H  »  4.  II  II  15.  3.  II  II  V  2.\  II  II  14.  1.  c l e a r 25 25  left  12. „ 13.  Area 1 3  9. io'.  GEL  •i  left  „  FOCUS  right "  right "  7. 8.  POSITION  ASTRID JANSON  2  c l e a r 27 27  2  36  29 29  2  36  29 29  3  36  30 30  1  36"  28 28  3  36:' 30  1  36:  28 28  2  36  29 29  Area 6 6 5 5 4 4  30  c l e a r 31 31 3  34 34  c l e a r 32 32 3  35 35  c l e a r 33 33 3  36 36  screens  2.  NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT 7. 1000  8"Leico  POSITION  FOCUS  GEL  BRIDGE,#1.  Area 4  CIR. DIM. NOTES  3  36  36  8.  •1  II  II  it  5  c l e a r 32  32  9.  It  II  II  it  6  c l e a r 31  31  io.  II  ti  II  II  ii.  II  n  it  12.  II  ti  •i  1. 1000  8"Leico  P i p e #3  4  36  37  37  it  5  36  38  38  ii  6  36  39  39  Area l(back) 3  40  40  II  H  II  II  •1  II  •i  II  4.  II  it  II  II  5.  It  II  II  H  6.  II  II  2. 3  «  1. 1000  ti  8"Leico  Pipe  #5 it  Area  i  "  17  40  40  2  "  3  41  41  2  "  17  41  41  '3 "  3  42  42  17  42  42  4(back) 3  43  43  3  "  it  4  "  17  43  43  ii  5  "  3  44  44  5  "  17  44  44  6  "  3  45  45  6  "  17  45  45  Window back  17  46  46  55  46  46  17  46  46  55  46  46  17  44  44  2.  II  H  4.  II  II  5.  II  •t  it  II  6.  II  ti  II  H  7.  II  ti  it  •i  ACT 1 1.  1000  12"Beam Projector  P i p e #4  II  II  II  it  3.  II  II  II  II  4.  II  it  ti  it  5.  . II  II  ti  II  2.  .HO. WATTS INSTRUMENT 1000 Beam P r o j . 7.  it  POSITION P i p e #4  FOCUS Window back  55  47  47  •i  17  47  47  3  48  48  3  48  48  4  49  49  ti  4  49  49  E a s e l (bed)  3  50  50  3  51  51  3  52  52  3  53  53  ti  1. 1000  8"Fresnel  B r i d g e #1  2.  II  it  n  3.  II  II  ti  4.  It  ti  ti  5.  It  II  1., 1000  GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES  Door  special it  Table area  8'-'Fresnel  B r i d g e #2  Stove II  2•  II  ti  ti  6.  If  it  B r i d g e #1  Stairs  T a b l e lamp  Table  33  54  54  Stove  Firelight  34  55  55  F l o o r of wagon  Footlights  2,38 56  56  1. S p e c i a l it  2. 1.  8" by 8' s t r i p  2.  it  II  •i  it  56  56  4  57  57  2  58  58  it  2  58  58  Doors  2  59  59  2  59  59  Table r i g h t 2  60  60  Act II 1.  Chandelier  Special  9. 1000  8"Fresnel  B r i d g e #1  10.  •i  it  it  11.  it  it  B r i d g e #2  12.  •I  II  5.  1000  8"Fresnel  •t  B r i d g e #1  Stairs  II  NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT POSITION 6. 1000  8'" F r e s n e l  B r i d g e #1  7.  It  it  8.  tt  II  1. 6" by 6* S t r i p  FOCUS  GEL CIR. DIM. NOTES 2  60  60  2  61  61  2  61  61  E x t e r i o r 5,6, 62 wind ow 2 it 62  62  Table r i g h t ".'  left  •I  Overhead under awning  II  2. 6"by 3'  <«  3. 6"by 6'  n  II  ti  it  62  62  H  it  ti  ti  62  62  F l o o r of wagon F o o t l i g h t s 1,8 63  63  4. 6"by 3*  it  5. 8"by 8' 6. 7. 8.  II  II  21.  II  it  II  II  II  it  it  II  it  63  63  tt  64  64  it  64  64  65  65  Act I I I 1. 1000 2.  "  3.  "  4.  "  5.  "  6.  "  7.  "  8.  "  9.  "  10. " 11. " 12. "  62  •  8" L e i c o  B r i d g e #2  II  •t  H  Tree shadow 20 • ti  ti  65  65  Gobo t o  II  it  it  65  65  match  H  it  it  it  65  65  tree  ••  ti  it  it  65  65  shape  ti  tt  66  66  ti  it  66  66  •I  •t  H  66  66  II  it  tt  66  66  it  •t  tt  66  66  »  tt  67  67  tt  • tt  67  67  H  B r i d g e #4  it II  » i» H  •i  P i p e #5 ti  5.  NO. WATTS INSTRUMENT  POSITION  FOCUS  GEL  13.  1000  8"Leico  P i p e #5  Tree shadow  14.  II  it  it  15.  II  II  it  16.  II  II  17.  II  tt  18.  II  19. 20.  20  67  67  it  H  67  67  •i  H  67  67  n  it  68  68  ti  II  it  68  68  it  •i  it  it  68  68  •1  it  it  it  «  68  68  II  II  ti  it  ti  68  68  G a t e ( b a c k ) 17  69  69  17  69  69  Stage r i g h t 17  70  70  17  70  70  17  71  71  17  71  71  17  72  72  17  72  72  4  73  73  4  73  73  1,8,  74  74  P i p e #6 '  8"Leico  P i p e #6  II  it  1.  1000  2.  It  3.  1000  4.  II  n  n  5.  It  II  •t  6.  II  II  II  7.  II  it  •i  8. .  II  II  II  9.  Special  10.  1. 2. 3. 4.  1.  CIR. DIM. NOTES  8"Fresnel  Gate  Gate  Stage l e f t "  lamps  •t  II  8 "by 8*  Bridge#3  strip  n  Plaster  line  Footlights  21  II  it  ti  74  74  II  it  it  it  75  75  II  II  II  75  75  13  13  F o l l o w spots  F.O.H.  II  clear 2,17  6.  NO.tfATTS INSTRUMENT 2.  POSITION  F o l l o w spots  FOCUS  F.O.H.  GEL  CIR. DIM. NOTES  clear, 2,17 14  14  15  15  16  16  17  17  18  18  1  1  2.  2  2  3.  3  3  4.  4  4  5  5  6.  6  o  7.  7  7  8.  8  8  3.  B r i d g e #1.  4. 5.  B r i d g e #2  "  6. 1.  5000 P r o j e c t o r  D i s t . f r o m screen 20'  9.  "  9  9  10.  "  10  10  11.  "  11  11  12.  "  12  12  TOTALS I n s t r u m e n t s used; 8 " L e i c o (1000W) 8"Fresnel(1000W) 12"Beam P r o j e c t o r Specials 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 Projectors TOTAL  Number i 82 22 7 5 10 2 2 6 ' 12  MIMI  A C T X,HE.  1  /  I  I  I  \  f  >  IS  \  \  \\ \  \ \  P  \  7  t  1  Q  IL  )  ) .17*  -4.  r-r • a  ,„„,•,^.„, |  ,  M  ;  /  P^u*-^  41  \  ~  1  ^  2?  9  0*  / * .10. '.  0  o I I  '13*' '  /.Of. A u |  i f f / -v.--^r——--n  0  0^  APfcwJIZ.  y  to  0  «  .i  

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