Thursday, October 28, 2010

White Tent (...and Bohemia)

I've decided to tell you the story of my Tuesday night, even though I know one reader in particular will not be happy about it. Here it goes: My city is apparently not huge on the opera, so when La Bohème, one of the most frequently performed operas ever, comes to town, it's only for three nights. With rather scant advertising (and/or my lack of attentiveness towards advertising), and my only very recent discovery of my love of the opera, I was not aware of those three performances being this very week until Sunday afternoon. So, Tuesday after work and after my kitty sitting duties, I hurried back to my part of town to take in my second opera ever. I was really rather excited, as Carmen was so spectacular even just on a screen, and armed with a seasoned New Yorker's recommendation (and that of my practically-New Yorker friend), I was sure I'd love this one as well.

But I didn't. Perhaps it was sitting in the second balcony, or the rather poorly executed subtitles (I never knew who was singing, especially as I couldn't distinguish any facial features that would have indicated singing), or the fact that I had been up since 4:30 that morning. But really, I think it was the whole story line. If you're familiar with it, you'll know that it focuses on one couple, being Rodolfo and Mimi. However, the novel which the opera was based on was basically a series of short stories without a central plot. And the opera's Mimi is two separate women in the book. I know that this sort of adaptation can be done very well in theory (and in practice, ie. the incredible Jesus' Son). But when all you know is Metropolitan Opera quality entertainment with easy to follow subtitles and close-ups of expressive faces (not to mention some great costumes, perfect weather, great sound, green iced tea and apple slices, a gorgeous setting...), sometimes you just can't avoid disappointment. And sometimes you just have to be happy with reading Harry Potter for an hour beforehand with a glass mug of coffee and Bailey's in a lobby full of decked out opera fans.

Anywho, the photos here are from Lisbon-/Portugal-/London-based design collective White Tent, who, unlike La Bohème, rather exceeded my expectations. The first I had seen from the White Tent duo, being Evgenia Tabakova and Pedro Noronha-Feio, were these white little leather disc bags in The Shop (which I obviously am not fond of). Tonight, however, I was introduced to their wonderful world of clothing, which has this clean, simple, chic feel to it (especially the S/S 11 collection, above). New York worthy, even. Perhaps if I had been wearing a sparkly White Tent trench coat (below; from the A/W 10/11 collection) on Tuesday, it would've been just a tad magical. But perhaps I should just leave any future operas to future New York trips...

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