Opera x 3, London and an Austrian Village …

Had a unique experience this week when a friend of mine who is a world-renown opera singer invited me to go backstage with him at the Opera Bastille and take some photos before a final performance of the opera Don Giovanni. The building itself is impressive; it has multiple stages that can be rotated in and out and all together must be one of the largest stages in the world. It was like being in a giant movie studio in the back.

Opera Bastille - Behind the Scenes

My friend showed me around his private dressing room and I got to shoot him:

Hanging out …

Hanging Out - Opera Bastille

Going through make-up …

Getting Made Up - Opera Bastille

In costume …

In Costume - Opera Bastille

Warming up …

Warming Up - Opera Bastille

And on stage …

On Stage - Opera Bastille

I was very fortunate to have this experience. It was only through my friend’s charm that he was able to get the OK from the authorities for me to be able to shoot behind the scenes.

Took the Eurostar to London to meet up with a dear friend of mine who was over there on business. Just by pure chance, I figured out that EXACTLY one year ago to the day I was on the same exact Eurostar (same time even) en route to photograph William and Kate getting married. My friend and I spent 2 days just lollygagging around, seeing some sites and catching up. One odd experience was seeing the opera Carmen; what made it odd was the fact that it took place in a pub instead of a theatre. We were arm’s length from the singers when they were performing. It was also the first time I’d seen an opera in English, which made it a bit more intriguing.

Went to the Opera Gallery (you see an opera theme developing?) on Bond Street and saw a pretty cool art exhibit by a street artist nicknamed “Blek Le Rat“, one of the first graffiti artists in Paris. He’s sometimes referred to as “Banquesy”, the French spelling of the famous British street artist named Banksy. His work is quite bold and colorful, but I ended up preferring a few pieces done by other artists who were also showing in the gallery at the same time. I forgot to take note of their names but here are a couple of the pieces I really liked:

Head of Hangers - Opera Gallery London

Woman Made of Old Computer Disks - Opera Gallery London

And finally, here’s a lovely story about a quaint village in Austria that sounds like it should have come from The Onion:

No Fugging chance: Fucking village told they can’t be renamed Fugging because name is already taken

Austrians considering renaming their village from Fucking to Fugging have been told to think again – because the name is already taken. Villagers at Fucking in Upper Austria voted yesterday to change the name to Fugging. But then came the news that there used to be a second village with the name Fucking in Austria – and residents there had already bagged the name Fugging more than 100 years ago. “The first mention of our village as Fucking was was in 1195 where it was recorded in the records of the local monastery.

Fucking City Limits

Fucking residents said the final straw was a growing number of calls by pranksters from abroad who ring up locals and ask in English “Is That Fucking” – before bursting into laughter and hanging up. “The phone calls are really the final straw”, said Fucking Mayor Meindl, who confirmed that the villages street signs were regularly stolen – even though they had been welded on steel posts set in concrete in the ground. Drivers heading into the village often disturbed naked couples romping in front of the signs, and local entrepreneurs made the situation worse by flogging off Fucking postcards – Fucking Christmas cards and even more recently a Fucking beer.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jeff moody on May 6, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Dave, you must shoot the Kentucky Derby. We just went. It is a cultural experience!


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