Saturday | Day Off | Polish Opera
The afternoon was free and my wonderful hosts were willing to spend the afternoon showing me Warsaw. We started at a national history and folk art museum that had a sizably gallery dedicated to Polish folk costume from the various regions of the country. I have made a vow to always see these garments in person whenever I travel, and once again it paid off. The intricacies of these pieces are amazing; beautiful hand crafted garments with loving decoration stand as such celebratory pieces in a country that has had a challenging history. The colors and embellishment were exquisite, and once again I got to see a culture where the men’s costumes were equally as lavish and ornamental as the women’s.
That exciting stop was followed by an impromptu visit to the Warsaw’s opera house, Opera Narodowa Joanna had connections there, and managed to not only get us in on a Saturday afternoon, but found a way for us to go on stage, visit the costume storage, and see the ins and outs of what I learned was the second biggest stage in the world. Spaces of this scale cannot be described in words. It was truly massive, and all-inclusive in every way. Everything happens right there on site; draperies crafted, fabrics dyed, costumes produced, all set elements built right there, and there is even a resident cobbler who hand makes all of the shoes for the productions.
Bob Wilson is doing a production of Faust there in February, which is sure to be exciting. I would love to design productions of this caliber and scale someday.
The afternoon required a nap…which turned into 4 hours…and then I returned to work for the rest of the evening. Now at 1:25 am I am feeling like a lot has happened in one day; culture experienced, new visions gathered, exciting new experiences with exciting new friends, and drawings tacked to the studio wall to keep moving forward with our project. It is the reason I’m here, afterall.