I’ve been playing backstage at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for this season’s production of La Traviata. This is a wonderful gig–a real blast to play. As an added bonus, the offstage part for this specific opera only requires our participation for the first few minutes of the opera, so I’m driving back north toward Evanston less than a half-hour after the curtain rises on Act I.
Lyric is also running a production of John Adam’s Doctor Atomic concurrently with La Traviata. We hadn’t had a performance since the fall, and I stared with awe at the new addition to the scenery backstage–a giant atomic bomb was wedged right above the bass stools for the Traviata offstage band (excuse the graininess–this was a cell phone pic):
Notice how the bomb is on a bit of an incline, as if a sudden gust of air would send it toppling onto the unsuspecting Verdi waltz band? What an ominous backdrop for the cheery music we’re playing for this production!