I showed up at the Seattle Opera offices on Monday morning, and we shot some footage of me entering the building. A few minor technical difficulties ensued, but the wonderful Reel Grrls crew fixed them promptly.
Then I went on a tour of the costume shop led by Susan Davis, Seattle Opera's Costume Shop Manager; I have never seen so many pieces of clothing in my life! I saw so many things in the costume shop that I can hardly remember them all! I saw people working on costumes for the Ring (apparently there’re 214 costumes!), I saw never-ending racks of costumes from past Seattle Opera shows (I swear the fabric went on forever!), I saw the dying room where they dye fabric that needs to be just the right color, and I even saw bloody bandages (fake blood – or so I hope).
But the best part of my tour was when I got to try on a Ring costume! It was a costume of one of the Valkyries – it had a long skirt, a vest of armor, a jacket, and a hat. The hat normally sits on a large opera wig, but I don’t have a wig, so I had to hold the hat on my head. The hat had huge wings that stuck straight out the back – I had definitely never worn a hat like that before!
Then I got to interview Speight Jenkins, the General Director of Seattle Opera. I Googled Speight before interviewing him, so I thought I had a good idea of what questions I should ask, and a good background of his life in relation to opera. I wasn’t too nervous for the interview. But then, as the interview appointment drew nearer, more and more Seattle Opera employees told me “not to be nervous, you’ll be okay.” And I thought, “Don’t be nervous? I wasn’t, but now I am!” Everyone kept telling me he is “God in the opera world” – something I, most certainly, am not. But once I was finally face-to-face with Speight, my nerves were, mostly, gone. He was nice and warm, and answered my questions with long, full answers. Phew! And guess what, he knew all about the "Confessions" project and he even voted!
Then I got to the most exciting part of the day – I got to fly! No, I didn’t fly a plane. I got to fly like the Rhinemaidens in the Ring (that's how they portray swimming in the Rhine River during the opera). I was suspended in the air from two cables attached to a harness at my hips. I was a bit nervous as I slowly rose towards the ceiling of the rehearsal space, but soon I was doing front and back flips! I was so proud of myself! Thanks so much to the crew who helped me not fall to my death!
And I think that basically covers the shoot! Other than what I’ve already mentioned, I squeezed in a lunch break, walked up and down a ton of stairs (the rehearsal space is in the basement of the Seattle Opera office building!), and was interviewed by the Seattle Times. It was a day full of a lot of excitement! I’m starting to see the how the Ring cycle fits together, piece-by-piece. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Photos taken by Ilona Rossman Ho