Jeannette Dewyze, Timothy Verdugo-Dunn, George Varga, Karl Keating, Jeff Spurrier, Richard Louv, Paul Krueger 8:30 a.m., Jan. 19
San Diego Opera Salome: Nude and Nuder (2 of 4)
Lise: "It was really nice. At the cocktail party the other night, I can't remember who said it, but they told everyone, 'By the way, she takes all her clothes off.' I was, like, fabulous."
We're continuing with our discussion about San Diego Opera's Salome with Greer Grimsley and Lise Lindstrom.
Lise: "I don't really want to be naked. It's not mandatory. It's certainly up for discussion. The level of nakedness is an issue."
Greer: "I've always said that nudity in opera is redundant."
Lise: "Yes. Really? Now you want me to take my clothes off too"?
Greer: "You've basically opened yourself up. It's not just this mechanism [gesturing to his throat]. When you sing it's connected to your soul. It's connected to everything you are. In that sense we're sharing more than what our physical bodies are."
Lise: "I always find nudity to be more information than I wanted in the seductive category. When I see a naked body on stage, I think, nah. What I do like is not seeing it and having the suggestion of it — the perception of it but not the full thing. Bodies are not all that interesting when they're naked. When you put stuff around them and package them, then I find bodies to be quite tantalizing."
SDReader: "The nudity in Salome isn't like the Rheinmaidens being naked at the end of Götterdämmerung. That is obviously a representation of a pure and natural state. Salome is a different story."
Lise: "It is and you need to have that conversation. How much is the nudity used as a tool to get what she wants? It's all about checks and balances in this opera — and power assertion. How far does she have to go to get what she wants?"
Greer: "The Dance of the Seven Veils isn't about nudity. It's about anticipation. It usually doesn't end in nudity but that's become the traditional take on it."
SDReader: "Greer, you're kind of a good guy in this. You're not Scarpia."
Greer: "Ya, I'm not the devil this time, either. I'm playing for the other side in this one. The interesting thing about playing evil characters, as opposed to those that are not, is that evil characters never believe that they are evil. They always believe that they are justified in doing what they're doing — which makes it scarier."
SDReader: "Lise do you ever get to play the bad girl? Well, I guess Salome is bad."
Lise: "Ya, I would think so. I usually play demented women. It was a joy to sing the role of Tosca. I finally got to be not so reviled at the end of the opera. Which is nice."