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Te backstage area of any theatre is always
shrouded in a degree of mystery for the audience.
It’s where ‘the magic happens’; where the actors
cease being normal people and take on their
character for the evening…Te dressing rooms at
the Grand Teatre are set up for a performance
of
Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades
. Te opera follows
the tale of a failed gambler. He becomes obsessed
when he hears of a secret that will grant him eternal
wealth and the hand of Lisa, the woman he loves;
the secret however is known only to Lisa’s guardian,
an elderly countess.
My Leeds
Stephen Rodwell shows us into some of
the dressing rooms – most notably that of Dame
Josephine Barstow (who plays the countess). Te
detail and organisation which goes into an opera
production like
Queen of Spades
is clear. Barstow’s
costumes, jewellery and makeup are laid out in
order, ready for her to pull on. Te opera is set in
early 19th century Russia but the countess is to
appear like she ‘comes from another world’,Rodwell
explains, showing her ‘eclectic’ costumes which are
deliberately out of kilter with the period. “It makes
her distinct and separate”, he says.
THE COMPANY IS KNOWN FOR
TAKING A FRESH APPROACH TO THEIR
PERFORMANCES, OFTEN BRINGING
IN DIRECTORS WHO LOOK TO BE
INNOVATIVE IN THEIR PRODUCTIONS,
STAGINGANDCOSTUMES.