Stage Direction & Set & Costumes Design
OPERA | DOMITILA > J.G.Ripper
Music > J.G.Ripper | Libretto > J.G.Ripper, Letters from D.Pedro I – the Emperor of Brazil, and his lover Marquesa de Santos | Stage Director, Set & Costumes Designer > Pedro Ribeiro | Cast > Sara Braga Simoes, soprano | Ensemble > Toy Ensemble: Piano, Christina Margotto; Clarinet, Ricardo Alves; Cello, Burak Ozdemir | Hair & Makeup > Sergio Antunes | Model Maker & Seamstress > Leticia dos Santos | Light Design > Rui Vaz Maia | Production > Mestres Viajantes & Casa das Artes, Famalicao, PTG
Pictures: © Susana Neves 2022 & © CasaDasArtes 2022
“For the one who by love arrests me and for love is imprisoned……”
The interpretation that J.G.Ripper makes in his music of the character “Domitila” seems to sketch a person who suffers from a great lost love, who lives in disappointment, who even seeks some kind of revenge. It seems to encompass in herself a deep dependency. A dependency on her lost love. and for not having reached her goal with the relationship. Just like Miss Havisham (C. Dickens’ character in “Great Expectations”). Thus, the atmosphere created by the set is of a place of passage inside a house. A dwelling that is left behind. The character leaves the house at the request of her ex-lover, finding the letters that inhabit her. Only Domitila’s spirit remains, reliving times past. The projections of memories are poured over the set and costumes. They are illustrations and paintings, which refer to the period of life of Domitila (1797-1867), made by Teive, Debret, Hildebrandt, Júnior, Almeida, Landseer, Taunay, Chamberlain, Guilobel, Rugendas, Graham, among others. The costume is a completely original piece, from the fabric dyeing to the handmade painting. It faithfully recreates the handwriting of D. Pedro in his letters, the paper yellowed by time, the stamps from the historical archives; the envelopes; and the ink blots flooded with tears. So the staging will not follow a realistic illustration of the day suggested by the libretto. The Marquise knows the letters from memory, she lives with them, she does not discover them by accident when she leaves the house, she, deep down, never left the house that day, she lives there today and in the words that Pedro wrote.
Stage director programme note