Friday, February 17, 2017

Painting Eugene Onegin



Eugene Onegin is a Tchaikovsky opera based on a lyric novel by Alexander Pushkin.  This was Tacoma Opera's first time putting it on.  Mark, the set designer, populated the Russian countryside with birch trees which we created out of PVC--bare trunks with the suggestion of leaves projected on the screen behind.  In this photo from rehearsal we had a few of the trees in place.  (Photo by Peter Serko)



After La Boheme's difficulties, we wanted to get as much done as possible ahead of time and limit the amount of actual building happening onstage, which meant that we needed a nice big workspace. Our space was in a warehouse down at the Port of Tacoma. Work began during our cold snap, and it was cold. I was painting in gloves. We brought in a little space heater. That helped.



The space belongs to Northwest Stage ("the Pacific Northwest's premier audio-visual and staging company"), and is full of interesting things.



The first day that I walked in, I saw this sign and knew I had to get a picture of it. Ha.



I spent a little too long painting the columns to look like malachite. I did the trim in gold. (This was my second time painting these columns. They were white for Fledermaus.)



Working on PVC trees. I helped wipe them down and Gail sanded them.



Troy built this rock wall and carved the rocks in pink foam, and then I got to paint it.



Striping wall. I went through a lot of tape.



Theater load-in day. We put the rock wall out in the hall so I could work on it while they locked up the theater and everyone else went to lunch. (I brought a sandwich.) That big rock in the middle is my favorite.



We had to get everything out of the warehouse, but by this time rehearsal had moved to the theater, so we took the trees over to the Armory to finish them up. Gail and our intern, Sky, put the spots on about half of them and then I did the others to match.



This production was in the Theater on the Square. I'd never been in there before. It's a small house (300 seats), and Mark was complaining about the sight lines onstage, but it's a nice theater to work in.



More trees!



Kevin arranges trees onstage.



I went to the Friday night performance with Anne Marie and Mimi. I told Doug, "I'm off to be Russian and depressing!" and he said, "Enjoy yourself!" The first half was more light-hearted and then it got rather bleak. The orchestra had some issues, and the chorus got badly off-tempo during their first number, but the other singing and acting were fabulous (the leading lady was especially delightful). We had a fun night out.



The trees looked awesome!

They announced next year's lineup. Noel had already talked to me about doing The Marriage of Figaro for their 50th anniversary, and I found out that after that they're doing Carmen. That's so exciting! I've been hoping to see Carmen since I started this job. Looking forward to it!