Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strange and spooky origins

The story of The Lighthouse caught the fascination of myself and fellow assistant stage manager, Ginger Castleberry, when we looked up the location of the historical events on which the opera is based, see it on a map:

Who knows what really happened on this isolated group of rocks? The real-life Northern Lighthouse Board investigation (the opera's Court of Enquiry) concluded that all three lighthouse keepers were swept out to sea by a powerful wave, but no bodies were ever found washed ashore …

Ginger and I initially theorized the Loch Ness Monster was to blame for the disappearance of the men. After all, Nessie would have been hungry after a 300-mile swim between Loch Ness and the Flannan Isles. However, when we staged the final moments of the opera yesterday, director Tim Albery has provided us a more intriguing—and plausible—interpretation of the final moments of the keepers. The score blurs past and present in a way that gave us clues of how the story could fit together. With only a three person cast, the singers have been delving into the mystery from the perspective of the lighthouse keepers when they were confined together on duty, the relief officers who discovered the empty lighthouse, and impartial narrators after the whole event. You'll have to come and see to be your own judge of the keepers' fate!

--Courtney Rizzo, Assistant Stage Manager

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