Last Saturday, I took my sister to a local Live in HD screening of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of "Rigoletto" by Verdi. My sister had never attended a Live in HD screening before, and I always get a kick out of introducing people to them. "Rigoletto" is a mainstay in most opera companies' seasons -- it's got wonderful music, memorable characters and a plot that is really fucked up. As my sister accurately put it later, never trust the guy who sings bass.
Never heard of "Rigoletto"? Oh, sure you have. Everyone's heard "La donna e mobile" at some point -- most notably, last year on "The Colbert Report" when perfect television prince Stephen Colbert joined Placido Domingo to sing it.
My sister was somewhat astonished to find out that "La donna e mobile" was a careless man's song about the "flightiness" of women. But when the guy singing the song looks like this ...
(source: NY Times)
... how u gonna b mad, even if HE's the flighty one? (This tenor, though ... I died. I've seen one of his old HD performances before -- "Lucia di Lammermoor" with Anna Netrebko -- so I knew what his voice would be like, but his costumes in this? DAAAAAAAAAAAYUM, SON.)
This new production of "Rigoletto" takes place in 1960 LAS VEGAS. (In case you didn't suss that out or haven't heard about it. I feel like it's been majorly hyped, but definitely not within the nail blogging circles.) As you can see, there are showgirls, card tables, casino signs, decadent lounges, great costumes, Rat Pack stylings, a Cadillac Coupe de Ville. And neon. So much neon. (And also, a few changes to the libretto ... how are you going to Rat Pack without saying "baby" more than once?) The deformed clown Rigoletto becomes the Don Rickles to the Duke of Mantua's celebrated lounge singer. The assassin Sparafucile wears cowboy boots and writes his number in a matchbook for Rigoletto. Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter, is dressed like a Sandra Dee good girl in contrast to all the skin and glamour you'd see in Vegas. It's nuts.
The women seated to my left had some pretty vocal opinions about the production. I'll just say this: It wasn't perfect. I get how the set especially would be offensive and gaudy -- isn't Vegas, though? But it was so brave and so spectacular and if a few things can be tweaked, I can see this production becoming a seasonal addition to the point where I also can see myself standing in line at the Met for nosebleed tickets. I would gladly suffer vertigo to see this. So far, "Rigoletto" has been my highlight of this HD 2012-2013 season.
I think Zoya has a thing for some operas, because they have a fair amount of polish names that I can attribute to some characters and heroines. Yes, I did think of Gilda Radner at first, but as soon as I saw the PR images for "Rigoletto" and heard about the Vegas motif, I was like "OMG GILDA."
Gilda and Rigoletto
And this is how a polish I never would have looked at three years ago became one of my favorite things ever. Classic Rach.
Four coats with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.
I bought this polish last summer for the name (and because Ulta was having a Zoya B2G1 free promo at the time), but obviously it's so much more than that. Remember the Sparkle collection that gave us CHARLA? And Ivanka, AND Mimi? At first I thought Alegra would be more my jam, and that the "Barbie" pink of Gilda was passable, but pinks like Gilda are so flattering on me in general. So a pink like this? In a Zoya glass fleck? No, I hate it. Get it away from me. (Not.)
It goes on sheer, but builds up after at least two more coats. I used four coats total, but you can stop at three. Wait a couple of minutes in between applying coats to avoid any patchiness or pooling. I had average dry time with Wicked Fast; the only thing I would recommend -- and it's a small thing -- is probably not to apply polish ten minutes before going to bed, 'cause oh man, the sheet marks. I also scratch in my sleep, so no matter how much I want a polish to look perfect, sometimes it doesn't happen, and it didn't on Saturday morning, but I was okay with that. I wore this for four days with average tip wear (which shows a little more because of the glass fleck's jelly base).
Gilda is available at the Artofbeauty site for $8 and anywhere that sells Zoya. Since it's Zoya, however, just wait for a promo. ;) I don't know if this polish has any dupes because it doesn't look super unique these days and I don't know if people have the patience to do three coats with anything any more (RMFE.)., but if you loooooove pink, glass flecks, and opera, Gilda would make a stunning addition to your stash.
Gilda: like, want, NEED? Isn't it perfect for the Verdi character? Have you ever listened to "Rigoletto," or seen it on stage? Diana Damrau was an amazing Gilda and she totally killed it (in the best possible way). This Met Live in HD production was a seasonal highlight not just for me, so I'm sure we'll see it on DVD next year or perhaps in the coming months. Depending on where you live, you may be able to catch the encore presentation of sexy Vegas goodness -- just click [THIS LINK] and go to the bottom of the page. Broadcasts run internationally, but the U.S. and Canada encore date is on the evening of March 6. Check and see if a theater chain or an independent venue will be screening this broadcast -- your ticket will be a little over $20, but it's well worth it.
I love these broadcasts because opera is the only form of high art I can even begin to comprehend. My friends are more intrigued by dance and physical performance art, but I'm more intrigued by what the human voice can do. And as a former entry-level broadcasting professional, I love that our society possesses the technology to share an art form containing this much scope and grandeur with anyone who normally wouldn't have access to it.
If you got through this post, thanks for reading! I love opera so much. :3
Apparently, so does Nicolas Cage. There was his character in "Moonstruck," and then ... this. (Which I also have seen. Many times. NOT PROUD OF IT.)
Happy Pink Wednesday.