Tormentas claras

Un teatro, sin trastos por en medio, no es un teatro de verdad. Sería como una de esas casas de revista en cuyos sofás nadie come palomitas ni se da besos. Afortunadamente, el Metropolitan Opera House es un teatro de carne y hueso.

“Es para Rigoletto“, me dijeron cuando me crucé en un pasillo con una tradicional máquina de viento, de esas que llevan siglos usándose para recrear tormentas, y que aún no han sido mejoradas: una loneta que frota una rueda con aristas y una simple manivela para accionarla. Y los cielos se abren y el público tiembla.

Pero entre los estuches de instrumentos que viven por detrás del foso de la orquesta, y cerca de la puerta por la que se accede al hombro izquierdo del escenario, he descubierto algo insólito. Se trata de una fuente para refrescarse los ojos.

Reconozco que la usé, víctima de algo (una viga, dirán algunos) que se empeñó en instalarse en mi ojo derecho. Salí con el rimmel en las rodillas, pero doy fe de la eficacia de esos chorritos graduables de agua fresca que, por lo visto, usan los técnicos con frecuencia para ver las cosas claras en la oscuridad.

La verdad es que ese día tan tormentoso ya empecé a verlo todo mucho mejor.

A theater, if it’s not full of junk, it doesn’t seem like a real theater. It would be like one of those apartments from a decoration magazine, in whose sofas nobody ever ate popcorn or kissed anyone. Fortunately, the Metropolitan Opera House has its own feelings.

“It’s for Rigoletto,” somebody told me when, in a hallway, I met a traditional wind machine; one of those devices that we’ve been using for centuries to recreate storms on stage, and which have not been improved yet: a piece of canvas fabric that rubs on a edged-wheel and a simple crank to operate it. Then the heavens open and the audience starts to shake.

But among the instrument cases living behind the orchestra pit, and near the door which access to stage left, I found something really unusual. It was a fountain to refresh your eyes. I must admit that I used it, as I was victim of something (the rafter in my own eye, someone would say) that decided to settle down in my right eye. I left the theatre with my make-up down to my knees, but I bear witness to the effectiveness of this adjustable trickle of fresh water, that technicians are supposed to use quite often to see everything clearly in the dark.

To be honest, from that stormy day I started to see everything much better.

* Photos harp-case & wind machine at the Metropolitan Opera House © Elna Matamoros, 2012. 
* Photo eye-wash fountain at the Metropolitan Opera House © Leah Goldring, 2012. 

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