Saturday, September 27, 2008

Teresa Stratas

The Metropolitan Opera Guild presented a Tribute to LA STRATAS on the 25th at Town Hall. It was a love fest from start to finish, wonderful insights and treasured video clips of her enormously powerful interpretations on stage. As a photographer I've felt the huge responsibility to capture the accuracy of each production, but when an artist like Teresa Stratas is on stage the feeling is electric. The intensity of what she did, -the total envelopment of the character, the musical sensitivity- made each photo project a thrill. Even now I can feel that charge, the laughter when something was funny, the anguish when it was tragic. I could feel her power even before she was visibly on stage. On Thursday night the audience gave her a standing ovation. They were with her all evening, with compassion when she talked about things in her family that are cause for deep feeling, with smiles and laughter when she shared a special moment, and with cheers when she expressed something pertinent to the current trends. She was asked who her favorite stage director was and the immediate reply was, "any director who left us alone to do our own thing as indicated by the music". That got prolong cheers. Teresa was lucky. She worked with great opera directors. If someone wasn't attentive to the music she walked out. That didn't harm her career. Managers wanted her back. Integrity has no price tag. It lives for all time . The Stratas legacy will live forever.

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