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Subject: Re: Operatic color schemes
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:34:31 -0400
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Some musicians and composers have had synesthesia and have associated colors
with particular sounds, keys or instruments. (Liszt was one, and when he
conducted would supposedly tell the orchestra, "a little bluer, please.")
Scriabin was quite specific with color-correlations in some of his
compositions; Messiaen also had particular colors and pictures in mind when
he composed. 

Rysanek was right, by the way--Lohengrin is a blue opera. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Max Paley
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10:17 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Operatic color schemes

When Leonie Rysanek came to San Francisco to sing her first Ortruds in 1982,
she was shocked at Beni Montresor's pink and gold sets as well as the
costumes. Her comment: "But I thought "Lohengrin" was a BLUE opera!"

Do others here think of certain operas as associated with color schemes? If
so, do you find yourself unsettled when a production is markedly different
from your association.

I know I think of "Siegfried" as a green opera, dominated by forestry, at
least until the last scene. That made me very bothered by Francesca
Zambello's industrial greys, particularly for Act 2.

I also tend to think of "Parsifal" in terms of greenery. Hence I found
myself off balance with the austere white of Lehnhof's production.

Max Paley

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