I had a costume fitting for Suor Angelica last week, my first fitting at the Met for a costume that I’ll actually get to wear! It is a very sweet novice habit, a beautiful Wedgwood blue, and not at all harsh, as suited to one who has yet to take her vows. When the costumers learned that I will also be singing “Young Lover Soprano” in Il tabarro - and wearing a sexy red dress - we went to town making up a back-story to tie these two characters together! How does a girl go from being a YLS in a red dress to being a Novice in sensible shoes?
Since Tabarro is first on the bill, we decided that after too many nights spent walking through the streets of Paris with my Young Lover Tenor, (and stopping on - or under - various bridges to sing about the perfumed evening…) my parents stuck me in a convent. Take away the red dress, give a girl some sensible shoes, and hope she mends her wicked ways!
Of course, once a YLS, always a YLS, so we determined that my Novice never takes her vows! She is rescued by a rich archduke or merchant who fell in love with her after seeing her at Mass. Maybe it was something about the saucy way she wore her wimple… How does it end? Does she ever see her YLT again? Who knows, but I’m sure we’ll continue to flesh out the story over the next few weeks. Rehearsals start on the 19th!
This is all in fun, of course; the three stories of Il trittico aren’t connected by story or place or time. Just three stand-alone shorts, so to speak. Connected only by the limits of our imagination!