Monday, November 14, 2011

Original Art Sundays No. 106: A Night at the MN Opera

While there is a new story that's a half inch from being ready to post, something else came up this week that deserves our attention.
While attending MIX(more about MIX later this week, I hope), I talked to some members of the Black Hat Comics Collective, and joined them in an adventure this past Thursday.
We were invited to attend the dress rehearsal of the new production of the MN Opera Company, Silent Night. Since this is a world premiere, we were among the first to see a public performance. We were also privileged with a light sushi snack and a Q & A with the librettist, Mark Campbell, and the composer, Eric Simonson, beforehand.
Our responsibilities for being granted this honor were simple. We were to sketch the performance and to blog about our experiences.
This work will also be offered to the Minnesota Opera Company for their blog.
The work, based on a true incident from WWI, tells of three troops- one Scots, one German, and one French- who agree to a truce for Christmas eve, and find themselves unable to fight thereafter.
The music and acting were stunning in their beauty. I was moved to quiet tears more than once.
May I add that this was the first opera I've ever attended (besides Gilbert & Sullivan, which, according to my music history professor, doesn't count)?
Go see this! It's one of the most moving Christmas pieces I've ever seen. And even though it's not specifically about the holiday or the faith associated with it, it's one of the most reverent works I've seen as well.
Performances this coming weekend only, but this deserves to become a holiday tradition.

Here are my sketches.The medium is listed below each piece. This is most of my output from the two hour performance. I hope the emotional content and energy compensate for their crudity.
China marker

China marker

China marker of rear projection behind set

China marker, soldier's letter home

fine tip marker- "famous artists make worse soldiers!"

fine tip No. 5 Marker

No. 5 marker- the bagpipes

No. 5 marker- prayer and song

Brush tip marker- the next morning

"maybe it's time to bury all of them...."

Brush tip marker

brush tip marker

brush tip marker

brush tip marker

brush tip marker- "a silly way to die"

I was so honored to do this, and to work with the Black Hat folks, many of whom I know from MCAD (and some of whom I've taught and worked with in other respects). I hope to work more with them, and would love to attend the next operatic event!
Next week: the long promised Whalemule solo story.