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The Blog of Photographer Steven Gray

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Pensacola Opera: Backstage at The Merry Widow

The stage is a different world behind the curtain...

Something I haven't publicized enough over the last year is that I have spent this past season as the in-house photographer ("photographer in residence" as my ever-so-patient wife wearily conceded this evening) for Pensacola Opera.

I've never been an opera devotee. I certainly appreciate the talent and training behind the voices and incredible detail and craftsmanship in the costumes and sets, but it's never been a performance genre I followed closely. However, since my wife began working at Pensacola Opera last year, and I became absorbed in by association to assist with media coverage, I have enjoyed getting to know the art and the people behind it immensely.

About a week ago, the Opera wrapped up its spring performance run of The Merry Widow. For those who don't know (myself counted among that number until I actually saw the show), TMW is a welcome respite from the typical opera tropes of mad scenes, death scenes and arias that hang into infinity. The story is hilarious and, thank God in heaven, it's sung in English. The Merry Widow was a joy to watch and to photograph.

I took an extra day during tech week and logged some shots backstage and in the wings. The energy and focus behind the scenes was amazing.

The Merry Widow

Artistic Director: Kyle Marrero

Maestro: Jerome Shannon

Director: Dean Anthony

Lighting Design: Charles Houghton

Costume Design: Glenn Breed, Wardrobe Witchery

Performed at the Saenger Theatre, Pensacola, FL.