Why puff around in mighty silks and wigs when the age-old story of a woman who strayed rings a bigger bell of bittersweet when it plays out in a luxurious and provocative night club? Sometimes it is the message and not the word that matters, and so a courtisan today may be scantily clad in latex hotpants and heels, shaking her booty to Verdi’s timeless tune. And when Violetta is revealed to be withering away, the flash and neon glow is transformed into an ugly glare.
In the midst of the heartache and arias of the tormented I step outside into the soft summer night and soak in the heat of the sun-warmed stones. Gazing over the blue waters I vow never to forget that we are only as trapped as we feel. There is always a way out, although we never know exactly where it may lead us.
(Savonlinna Opera Festival, Savonlinna, Finland; July 2013)