Saturday, November 16, 2013

Comic Artists' Night at the Opera - Arabella

The Minnesota Opera generously invites artists and members of the press to dress rehearsals for each show that they premiere.  The Black Hat Collective and I arrive with pens, pencils and paintbrushes and make it out mission to interpret each show through cartoons and sketches.

In this 1932 opera by Ricard Strauss, a family is living far beyond their means in a fancy hotel (pictured).  Their credit has run out and they are in danger of getting kicked out, unless they can get their eldest daughter Arabella to marry somebody with money.

Unfortunately Arabella doesn't want to get married for money, she wants to fall in love.  Though she has a number of suitors, she does not have feelings for any of them.

However, Arabella's younger sister Zdenka (pictured) - who dresses as a boy and goes by the name "Zdenko" - has secretly fallen in love with Mateo (not pictured) - one of the men who pines after Arabella. Zdenka loves Mateo so much that she doesn't want him to be unhappy, so she tricks Mateo by writing him love letters and signing Arabella's name.  As a result, Mateo thinks Arabella is in love with him, when she is not.