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Subject: Walking into the light
From: David McKee <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David McKee <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 11 Jun 2001 13:45:27 -0700
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   I'll never forget the tableau devised by Eric Simonson and his design
team in their Minnesota Opera production of LA BOHEME. As the postlude
sounded, the stage lights faded out save for two pools of illumination: the
face of Mimi (Ana Maria Martinez, devastating) and the glow of a sunset on
the distant view of Montmartre--seen through a window that, in Act 1, had
been concealed by Marcello's "Red Sea" canvas. Besides, the production team
had clearly read Murger and got the details right--down to Colline's hat,
just like the one in the book. It was a real labor of love and humility, and
the best sort of "traditional" staging: faithful to the sources but w/o any
lazy resort to cliche or hackneyed mannerisms. Would it have worked in a
larger house? I don't know, but it was indelible if you were lucky enough to
have been there.
   David McKee

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