Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This is the advertising piece for an opera for which Fritz and I have written the libretto from our own original story. I've designed sets and lights for Intermezzo productions for the past seven years. The chance to write the story and text for an opera came up largely by chance almost a year ago and went very well once we were confirmed in the assignment and under way.
Barbara Kilduff is an internationally know soprano (Metropolitan Opera, New York; La Scala, Milan; Vienna, Hamburg and Bavarian State Operas, etc.). We are thrilled to have her headlining the production as Isabella Stewart Gardner.
The production process has begun. Before the end of the month I'll be showing design sketches to the director and laying out lighting, furniture, and properties plans. In March, I start building and painting the set. We're on our way!
We've spent a lot of time in the state capital, Concord, this week. We're working with the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition to help defeat three separate bills the new Republican Representatives and Senators have filed to repeal same-sex marriage equality.
When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, New Hampshire rushed to pass a bill preventing the state from recognizing another state's same-sex unions. But the situation changed very quickly -- civil unions were passed by the legislature in the spring of 2007, followed by full marriage in January of 2010. Despite being told by Republicans and the Tea Bag (who aren't always the same thing) that the first priority would be the economy and jobs, it seems that repealing gay marriage has to occupy everybody's attention for a while. And it seems that it has to do so even though 63% of the state's voters who were polled feel strongly that marriage equality should be preserved, and a whopping 90% of the state's Republican voters feel that the priority is the economy, only 1% having any concern about social issues at all. According to the new Republican legislators, government should listen to the people -- except, apparently, when what the people want isn't exactly what the Republicans want.
So we spent a couple of hours in NHFTM's offices Monday night getting prepped for a press conference this morning and testimony before the Judiciary Committee tomorrow.
The press conference went very well. We were joined by a couple of very high profile figures in the business/financial community here, as well as the proprietor of our favorite book store, Water Street Books in Exeter. The lead speaker was a young former Marine who came with his wife in support of his gay brother's right to marry. We spoke after him and were followed by a number of women speaking as adoptive mothers, business owners and as partners in long-term relationships who had then married.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will probably be a long day spent waiting to be called to give our testimony which is to focus on gays and lesbians not losing hospital visitation and next-of-kin rights at the end of life or during any other health crisis. Exactly when the vote will be taken on the three proposed bills is up in the air. It could be Friday or it could be put off to the next election. We'll have to see how it all works out.
Fritz forces paperwhite narcissus for the Christmas Holidays and Amaryllis in the spring. He's bringing two along this year. This is the first to blossom and the good news is that it seems to have calved a new amaryllis bulb. The other one should blossom a vibrant crimson color.
Good luck on your show!
There was also an interview with me by the Concord Monitor that is in part of a larger article available on their site today. We met and had several conversations with Craig Stowell, the gay Marine who is THE man of the hour. It was a most exciting and moving day.
And you got some press, too! Very cool. Hope all is well with the both of you. For now, we start preparing for Round 2 next January, or sooner, if the Teabagger Repubs continue to push this issue.
I suspect that a lot of what we have just been through was political theater aimed at keeping the religious right and social conservatives in the fold. I'm not sure they want to alienate the 2/3 of this state that does not want marriage equality destroyed.