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Apr. 17th, 2015


Testify! (Erik)

The levers and switches all had the same purpose as those in her own Opera House from back home. One for the curtains, to bring the thick velvet up or down toward the stage. Another to open or close the trap doors beneath the solid wood, holes utilized for quick prop set up and take down, or a quick escape by a diva or a stagehand. Some were for the series of lights that hung over the stage: pinks, reds, blues, yellows, greens...any hue combinations one could imagine for capturing the definition of the set and people performing.

It was like a breath of fresh air. A dark secret that was shared between but a few that could know such a feeling as intimately as she. Music was a magic of its own and yet it was tangible and real. If it wasn't ripping your soul to shreds and bleeding you dry, or healing every wound in your heart then you just weren't doing it correctly. It demanded focus, patience and passion no matter how small the piece or at what scale it was performed.

For all of the years Mag had spent alone, she always had the stage. It had been her constant companion: it had hurt her deeply, nursed her ailments and brushed away her tears. It had heard her laughter, made her smile. Been there when she had been nothing. Had nothing. And here it was again.

The white lights illuminated with the upturn of a lever and the polished wood shone eagerly, tempting her. She hadn't realized she was chewing at her bottom lip until there had been soreness. Releasing the skin, Mag turned and beheld the empty space before her. It was almost like coming home.

If anyone had been there in the shadows she would not have noticed, being too caught in the moment. The diva was out in the light past the curtain in a few steps, hands lifting the fabric of her dress so as not to trip over it when she moved. The sparkle of her eye was outline in a thick black cat-eye, and the lids shimmered with a soft, snowy dust. Her hair was down, though some was pinned up and though it wasn't styled as usual it still held the same grace as if it were set and sprayed for the stage. Once settled in the center, she glanced out at the empty chairs that sat patiently in the darkness before her. Her glowing eyes swept from one side to the other, taking in each empty seat in both the balconies and on the floor level.

Then she opened her mouth, tilted her chin up slightly and closed her eyes to sing the deep Russian words, "Why did it not know before, I have no angst, no sorrow, no tears, and all the days of leaking happened, among the sounds of Heaven and roses?"

Mag was fluent in many languages. She had to be cultured to ensure that her ability surpassed any other. To be believable. Her craft was complex and it required hard work; endless days and nights of practice and study as well as a vast knowledge and expertise of culture and language. No barriers could hold her down and none would.

"I hardly hear the birds chirping, a little heat will revive distant forest, and all sounds of glee - I entered into solemn chorus! And now all day brings me, not clear, deep reproach, and the page of fate sends birds choir and noisy stream."

Her eyes opened, as did her arms, and she willed the invisible people in the vacant seats to hear the passion of the Russian tone and her own addition of emotion to the words, the plight of the maiden born blind though she does not know what affliction has been laid upon her. A woman whom is unaware that others do not share the same fate and that there is a world beyond the darkness that she has always known.

"Why this silence of the night and I have cool mil? Why do I like her sobs I hear when the nightingale sings, Why so? Why so?"

Finally Mag breathed and stood where she was, listening to the sounds resounding from the walls, the chairs, the wood of the stage. Empty, the place felt so hollow and uninviting. Mag wished to once more fill it with life, with vitality and essence. With strength. With hope.

Oct. 30th, 2013


All Hallow's Eve Ball

On the long downtown street, the grand facade of the City Opera House glowed with light, hummed with excitement. Across its gleaming marble steps, all manners of beasts and birds and creatures of fantasy and myth climbed to enter the myriad doors. Across the doors, flung wide to the City this night, yards of red velvet lay in rich folds over the curved entrance archways and hung down the sides like blood. Running carpets of a matching color led the revelers into the opera house itself and directed them inside.

The Opera House itself was dressed for the occasion. The foyers, corridors, and adjoining rooms around the grand staircase had been divided into seven distinct 'rooms'. Six of the rooms were decorated and illuminated in a specific color: Blue, purple, green, orange, white, and violet. The last room was decorated in black and illuminated by a scarlet light. In this same room, a grand ebony clock stood, casting a foreboding pall.

Tables lined the back walls of each room, where polished tuxedos created and distributed all manners of cocktails. In the main ballroom - the white room - a standing orchestra played brilliant, glistening notes that carried throughout the opera house and invited all to join in dance. Along the sides, pristine waiters moved in and out carrying silver platters, some with hors d'oeuvres, some with bubbling champagne, some with deep red wine.

At precisely 8:30 p.m., the music turned screeching and sour. The lights dimmed, and from the depths of the black room, that great ebony clock tolled, strangely, on the half hour. From the grand staircase, came a figure dressed head to toe in red and black, with a death's head for a mask. As this figure descended, so too came a sense of dread and doom, and whispers filtered throughout the thrilling crowd:

-- The Red Death! -- Do not touch him! -- He's come for us! --

Just as the figure reached the bottom of the stairs, just as the shiver running through the crowd turned to something approaching panic, a single violin cried out a tense, shrill note, and a bass thrummed slow-building excitement. That figure held up his arms over the crowd, as if to curse them all. At once, from the crowd, came a single lady dressed in white, complete with wings and a halo. She ran to the base of the steps, and at once whipped off the mask and tossed it aside. From a nearby vase, and with an actress' flourish, she pulled a rose and tucked it into his lapel. The Red Death at once became that well known sinner Don Juan. He held out his hand to the single lady in white, that saint and angel who was his only love. And when his Christine was on his arm, the Opera Manager called out -- "Begin!"

At once, the lights crashed up, brighter than ever, and with them, the orchestra broke into vivid notes that dared every guest to forget their troubles and revel in the night.

After all, what was a ball at the Opera House without a little pageantry? The gala was off to a brilliant start, in true dramatic operatic style.

Oct. 23rd, 2013


Posted Throughout The City

...October 31...8:30 PM...costumes encouraged...

Sep. 3rd, 2013


Opening Night

The City Opera's season opener, The Death of Don Juan is an original opera by an anonymous composer, written in the full-bodied style of the old masters. Awash in dark eroticism, it recounts the final conquest of the famous lover while exploring the themes of selfishness, the emptiness of debauchery, and the redemptive power of unbound love.

Soprano Christine Daae brings a fresh sweetness to the role of Minuette, providing a counterpoint to the unrelenting hedonism of the world of Don Juan. The unearthly talents of pianist Hannibal Lecter embody the velvet-draped boudoirs and free-flowing wine of the first act, then drive the anger and confusion of the revelation of a lost soul in act two, until finally winding to a wholly satisfying conclusion in act three. Truly the shining stars in this performance, their talents alone are worth the price of admission.


Dec. 2nd, 2012


Opening Night: Carmen (Open to All)

After weeks of practice and fine-tuning, the newest performance opened at the City Opera House. Unlike before, the star diva was Enigma, in the title role. Another bright point of the evening came from the inventive interpretation of the classical score from Dr. Hannibal Lecter, on piano.

Again, Opening Night came with its victory gala at the end of the performance. Again, the featured stars invited special guests, and again, the City Opera provided complimentary tickets to one Ms. Lois Lane and the City Mayor (plus 1, naturally). But the performance and gala were also open to all. And as the performance came to a close, the gala sprung to life downstairs in the Grand Foyer.

Aug. 25th, 2012


A Night of Magnificence (Open to All!)

Opening night for Verdi's La Traviata ran as smoothly as the City Opera House manager designed it. He allotted a certain number of complimentary tickets to be distributed by high-performing members of his production. Those lucky enough to receive these tickets were placed on a special guest list and personally escorted by the house staff to their box seats. The manager himself claimed a seat in Box 5, which was otherwise empty.

Tonight, the crowd glittered and shone brightly under the warm glow of the opera house. Attending the opera was as much about high art as it was about being seen. With every playbill this night came an invitation to the opening night celebration following after the performance. There, all would get their fill of the glamor brought out by opening night.

When the lights in the auditorium dimmed, so too did the chatter. Then began the orchestra, casting its spell with rich, full-bodied music. The pianist, one Hannibal Lecter, would be remembered by musical types for his mastery. But there was limelight enough for others, as well. The production's Violetta, Ms. Christine DaeƩ, sang soprano with a curious and heady combination of seduction and fresh youth, while the Flora of the opera, Ms. Enigma, carried the darker mezzo-soprano with an expert's touch. And when the lights came up, it was to the roar of an audience recognizing the triumph it just witnessed.

Once the curtain calls were done, the crowd began filtering down the staircase and into the Grand Foyer, where the night was just beginning. The wine flowed; the violins hummed -- a triumph indeed.

Aug. 15th, 2012


Plastered Around The City

Jun. 1st, 2012


Audition #28 - Prelude in E Minor (Hannibal)

A black-gloved finger worried the irksome splinter Erik had found under the railing of Box 5. The imperfection soured his mood considerably as he stood at that railing overlooking the stage of the City Opera House. He could pull the splinter from the underside of the railing, but it meant risking further harm to the wood finish. He could smooth it down again into the grain, but it would still be there. The best solution, he had decided, was to find some finish and revarnish this tiny spot. He was confident in his abilities to restore it to the perfection he demanded -- but for now, it infuriated him.

A minute more standing here, and he really would rip it out.

Erik lowered himself slowly into the plush red velvet behind him, one hand fisting on his knee. In the other hand was a single sheet of thick, creamy paper. On this paper, a program of times, names, and instruments or other talents. As the poorly-executed finish of the easiest aria out of Tosca finally died around him, blessed silence soothed his nerves. Into that silence, he let out a breath that he by habit kept as silent as the air around him. (He had learned, long ago, how to move and breathe and be as silent as possible -- and it was a skill he'd embedded so deeply that it was second nature now.)

The silence turned expectant. That hopeful, middle-aged City denizen stood with her face turned up toward his box, then swiveled toward the assistant who had been guiding her through the entire process. When Erik said nothing, did nothing, the assistant finally swept in and ushered her off the stage with gentle platitudes that she didn't deserve. For Erik's part, he dropped his head back for one brief moment and squinted at the brightly blazing chandelier over the orchestra pit. If that sow had sullied his stage for one minute more, it wouldn't have been platitudes that saw her off.

He'd already crossed out that sow's name from the list in his hand. Under that name with its heavy black line striking through it, came the next: a Dr. Hannibal Lecter, on piano. There were no other annotations, and Erik was forced to wonder if the man also knew the intricacies of the organ.

The applicants had been allowed to state their instrument of mastery, but Erik had personally chosen each piece for the applicant to perform. At his assistant's advice, the applicant had been advised at least two days in advance of the piece selected for them. The pieces were typically relatively simple -- but Erik had intention on focusing on the execution of those simple showcases, not simply on the ability to hit a note correctly.

Although... the sow hadn't even done that.

He scowled at his program. Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4. A simple sheet read. The musicality was what made this piece. But given how today's auditions had gone so far, Erik had very little hope for the next applicant. Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The City Opera House manager settled back in his chair and braced himself for the worst.

May. 31st, 2012


On Billboards / City Bus Stops and Vehicles / Movie Poster Ads

May. 23rd, 2012


Plastered Around The City