London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. Because you can buy your way into the front of the house but not the back, OC said "how high?" when the English National Opera asked her to jump into its buzzing backstage as Sinfini Music ambassador during a recent London visit (more on that later).
OC watched steady, brush-wielding hands transform flesh & bone singers into transcendent divas as wigs were fitted and faces were sculpted across the exuberant cast of the ENO's new La bohème. Johnathan Miller's 2009 production in its third revival opened on Monday night and the raucous curtain call was followed by solid reviews, like Richard Fairman's for the FT.
The ENO's skilled beauty team of rogue, classically-trained make-up and hair stylists kindly showed us how they pulled the rabbit from the top hat, holstering arsenals of spirit gum, bobby pins and makeup brushes tipped with MAC Cosmetics.
Beauty looks, meticulously sourced by the ENO's wigs and makeup supervisor Vanessa Davis, heavily borrowed from the strong graphic photography of George Brassaï -- 1930s with a playful pop of 1970s color, like the bold blue cateye rocked by American soprano Angel Blue's Musetta, and sculptural wigs.
Read OC's backstage reportage for Sinfini Music to discover the laborious (but rewarding) backstage beauty process that turns singers into gods and heroes.