Palau in hiding

I mentioned in my swatches post last fall that Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia appeared to be undecided about the look she was going for. After she had been disrobed (a very complicated procedure), her fashion consultants had provided her with a little something to try on, thus:


These proposals had been advanced sometime in the spring–I can’t remember for sure, but I think she looked this way by March. And she still looked this way as October rolled around. When I got to Valencia two weeks ago, she’d covered up, thus:



Of course, we assume that this is the equivalent of the folding screen behind which the diva is preparing a costume that will take the breath of all of her admirers, and not the final effect.  Though the whole complex of buildings is ultra-modern, I think we can safely assume that the designers are not going for something that modern.

As there is plenty of high fencing and “don’t even think about entering” signs posted everywhere, I wasn’t able to sidle up to anyone to ask what was going on, or when they thought they’d be finished. Still, the shows must go on. The large room where we do yoga is across the hall from the practice rooms, and last week as we headed to class I could hear the soaring voice of some opera star as she warmed up, presumably in preparation for rehearsal. Bellini’s Norma opens on March 8th. Though the venue may be in a state of dishabille, I’ve peeked at their costume hoard in the past, and I’m sure the actors will be dressed to the nines.*

from the set (

from the press photos (

*In Spanish the phrase used to convey that idea translates as, “dressed of tip in white.”


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