Sunday morning opera tip

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Abelardo Morell
Abelardo Morell, Scenery for upcoming production of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Abelardo Morell gets an assignment from the New York Times Magazine’s Portfolio project and goes backstage at the Metropolitan Opera. The resulting black and white images are beauties and throwbacks to another age. In fact Morell’s photos of the props, scenery and drapes perfectly match opera’s grand romantic opulence and focus on man-made shenanigans and tragedy. The audio slide show, on the Times‘ website this morning has musical accompaniments from opera war horses (Wagner! Verdi!) and is a little like taking a trip through a haunted house — spooky. You can catch more of Morell’s beautiful and otherworldly camera work, specifically a magnificent color camera obscura photograph done at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Print Center (as part of the Taken with Time exhibit, up until Nov. 11). The guy’s a magician and a romantic and the works are just great.

Abelardo Morell
Abelardo Morell, talking about making his PMA piece in the video documentation accompanying Taken with Time at the Print Center. I enjoyed Taken with Time and learned much from the video documentation which shows Morell, Vera Lutter and Ann Hamilton constructing their camera obscura boxes and speaking about their work.

This NY TImes Portfolio project has been going on since 2002, and other photographers whose works I enjoyed seeing (no audio component in their slide shows) are Richard Misrach, Gregory Crewdson and William Eggleston.

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