Virginia Opera’s 2012-13 Season begins with The Pearl Fishers. Today, Set Designer Donald Eastman walks us through a selection of the visual moments in The Pearl Fishers and how his designs evoke a simple world mired in the conflict between sacred vows and human passions. To read a full synopsis of The Pearl Fishers, click here.
“This is our opening image. It’s over the gentle and watery music of the orchestra. Three of our townspeople bring on replicas of sailboats moving homeward after a long day of work at sea.”
“Following the sailboats, the villagers enter and a rainstorm breaks loose. Some are in the light, some are in shadow, surrounded by brilliant flashes of light with a lot of turbulent movement.”
“The red curtain flies out and our villagers inhabit the bigger space of the shore, a place where the daily activity of going off to sea and returning to home happens. This is where we introduce the main characters of The Pearl Fishers.”
“The red curtain returns, creating an intimate space as Nadir reflects on the events that have brought him back to his friend Zurga and the fact that the priestess Leila has again come between the two of them."
“The priestess Leila spends the evening at the water’s edge, praying for the elements to be kind to the island and for the good fortune and prosperity of its people.”
“Here, we leave the world of the villagers and the shore for Zurga’s tent, where Zurga decides the final fate of Leila and Nadir.”
Donald Eastman (set design) made his Virginia Opera debut with Brittens' The Turn of the Screw and is thrilled to return with The Pearl Fishers. His work in opera/theatre include productions for the company's of San Francisco and Seattle, BAM, Lincoln Center Festival, NYCOpera, Glimmerglass Opera and The Spoleto Festival. Upcoming projects include My Fair Lady for Arena Stage and Don Quichotte for Canadian Opera Company. His designs for theatre have been seen on and off Broadway and with companies across America. Donald has received numerous awards including an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence.
The Pearl Fishers opens in Norfolk on September 29, with additional performances in Norfolk, Richmond and Fairfax. To see these sets live, visit www.vaopera.org and reserve your seat today!