Thursday, August 28, 2008

Semi- ignorance is Bliss

1966: It takes hefty photo gear to do justice to opera documentation. In the beginning we all used film and I certainly didn't start with the most powerful lenses. They came later. Imagine being asked to photograph a really hot new production- ELEKTRA- with Nilsson, Rysanek and Resnik. I love demented characters and I adore the Strauss operas, so when the request came in I yelled, "YES!" In retrospect, I didn't have the gear to cope with this huge dark production, gear to crawl into the beast of the Elektra, but now the images are a sweet memory. Back then, semi-ignorance was total bliss. I had tons to learn.
To cope with this type of presentation it's necessary to go for the faces. Nothing else was lit, so there was no point in worrying about it. The other hard part was separating feelings from professional coverage. The photographer can't go beserk along with Elektra. I have a hard time with that. In time I learned to play with the feelings (see Behrens image). This opera never fails to wipe me out....... all straight from the music and performers who can crawl into the skin of the characters.

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