April 4, 2016

Magical Designs for Mozart's Magic Flute

Detail of costume for Marcella Sembrich
I've taught my lessons for the day, then run over through the rain to the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center where I find myself smack in the middle of an exhibition called Magical Designs for Mozart's Magic Flute. It's charming, beautiful and makes my heart skip a beat only because it doesn't contain a shred of fabric or mention of New York City Opera's wonderful production which was performed just across the Lincoln Center plaza at the former State Theatre. But how could there be any mention? The New York City Opera's archives drowned in hurricane Sandy, and the company sold off its costumes and sets before declaring bankruptcy. For a curator, there was nothing to steal, beg or borrow, and you can bet they thought about it.

If you see the exhibit for yourself (and you should), you'll find that the Metropolitan Opera is well represented along with numerous productions  from opera companies on both sides of the pond. They even have Marcella Sembrich's Queen of the Night costume. 

The costumes, drawings, and photographs on view are simply magical as the title of the exhibit notes. However, even though I understand why the curators couldn't include anything from my alma mater (I sang with NYCO from 1988-2011), I cannot help but look out the window and see tears.

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