Don Quichotte as presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago…November 16th, 2016
The Opera House is an Art Deco wonder. It has been carefully preserved and retains the magic of that age. It is incredibly beautiful and has a soft luminous glow in blushing peaches, golds, and viridian that have softened with age. The elaborate metal work designs twist and turn across the walls and around the ceilings. It is a worthy vessel of the soul lifting music it contains.
Yesterday, I attended a dress rehearsal for the opera, Don Quichotte, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. This opera is an adaptation of the novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It is an opera in five acts, in French, and written by Jules Massenet. It was first performed at the Opera de Monte Carlo on February 24, 1910. It was first performed at Lyric Opera in Chicago on November 23, 1974. I also attended the dress rehearsal in 1974 when Lyric presented the opera for the first time in Chicago. My father took me to see it. My father was the Principal Percussionist at Lyric Opera for 43 years. He started taking me to dress rehearsals when I was seven years old. I was allowed to miss school on these occasions and the gravitas of this was emphasized by the careful attention given to my “costume”, details on how I should conduct myself when meeting musicians and singers, and the importance of sitting quietly. I knew my behavior had to be impeccable in order to earn another invitation. My father and I would enter through the Stage Door. He would take me backstage and allow me to sit in the orchestra pit before all the musicians arrived for the performance and before my private tour would commence. Then, I was taken through to the backstage. I was allowed to wave at the singers as I passed and sometimes shake their hands. Occasionally, they would speak to me and in doing so would bend down toward my small self. The singers were dressed in their incredible costumes with wigs and theatrical make-up. The musicians in black and white tuxedos. I was awestruck! I was always told the stories of the operas I would see beforehand, but nothing could match what I actually experienced.
Today’s post features the outfit I wore to the dress rehearsal. I took a train downtown and then walked the distance to the opera house from the train station. The autumn weather has been mild in Chicago. In order to style my outfit to meet the weather conditions, I stepped outside in various layers to decide if it was enough. I had to keep in mind that downtown is always a bit cooler as it is on the lake. The first pictures are the basis of my outfit. It was the first layer. This included a soft gold, Masai, top I found on sale at Mango last year. The attached sashes offer a multitude of different styling opportunities. Today, I decided to knot them to the side. I have my black Eileen Fisher harem pants on and black tights underneath. Black suede wedges with a bow detail to “elevate” the look. I stepped outside and felt another layer was needed. I added the Kaliyana vest. I have included two pictures without the vest and two pictures wearing the vest.
I am wearing gold disc earrings, gold bracelets, and rings to highlight the gold in the top and vest. I am wearing my Kiyana head wrap as a scarf tied around my neck. Also, I am carrying my black leather origami clutch from Turtle Ridge gallery in the above picture.
When I enter through the doors of this magical opera house, I feel like I am coming home. I greet the memories and ghosts of my past. I can almost see my late father waving to me from the orchestra pit and my late friends sitting next to me as some of the most beautiful passages of music in existence begins to fill the air around me. I close my eyes and they all come to life as the music swirls and takes me away on its soft notes.