Another day off today before our sitzprobe tomorrow (for the non-operatic, that's a rehearsal where the singers meet with the orchestra offstage simply to run the music without the distractions of staging in the way), and I decided to venture out and go exploring the local Museum of Art.
The museum is housed in a purpose-built complex in what SHOULD be the heart of this city's downtown area, but to say that downtown is "quiet" would be an understatement which doesn't begin to describe just how deserted it is. As I walked to the front of the building - this is on THE non-interstate "main drag" through town, remember - it was empty. Oh, there were a few cars, but not a single person; it was like being on an empty movie set, or walking into an episode of The Prisoner
I found this exhibit amusing (it's a Steinway grand, although obviously not the normal kind one would find in a concert hall!)
This is a complete room from a French Chateau (there were a couple of complete European rooms, but nobody could answer my question as to how or why they had been removed or transplanted across the ocean. Note to self: find out more!). What is of particular interest in this one to anybody with an operatic bent is that the frieze is a telling of the story of Rinaldo and Armida, a story which has been set by numerous composers, not least of which in an opera by Handel. I finally know what happens now!
What I think was my favorite item of the day - it was the first thing I saw as I came around the corner from the parking lot, and it brought a smile to my face (yes, it IS a marble bench in the shape of a polar bear!)
And lastly, this painting by Louis-Leopold Boilly. Whether because I'm missing my girl at the moment or just because it's a rather witty painting, this one wooed me over completely:
As always, the most effective Art (in any genre or media) has a universality that speaks to us at so many levels. This vignette explicitly tells us so much about the dynamic between the mother and child, and yet leaves so much about which we can speculate and interpret however we see it. I love it!