Two (almost) Crazy WomenSaturday, August 19, 2017
|Dorothea (Dory) Hayley
I became aware that actors can act (something that is not always self-evident when I had the pleasure of taking portraits of British actress (I am old fashioned) Juliet Stevenson in 1990 when she came to Vancouver to promote her film Truly Madly Deeply. I asked her to look into my lens and to express three different emotions that I would click, rapidly, one at a time.
In my longish life as a portrait photographer I have only photographed two women who bordered on the insane. They only acted the part. They were opera singers. One was Elizabeth Futral who posed for me as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and the other was Dorothea Haley who played the part for my camera of the jilted 19th century Australian Miss Donnithorne for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne's Maggot.
Both played the part to perfection to my camera.
If you have no idea who Miss Eliza Emily Donnithorne is (the opera is brand new) you might want to know that it is almost certain that she was the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham in his Great Expectations.
Opera singers can act and more so now that operas are often filmed with closeups. Opera singers who sing in operas that are not staged (called concert operas) as is the case for Dorothea (Dory) Haley’s performance tomorrow Sunday at 7pm at the Mount Seymour United Church, more info here, have to especially act. There are no sets to put viewer/listeners into the mood.
I have been told by Haley (whom I photographed on Thursday in my little studio) that she has a most elaborate costume for the part. And another one, too, as she is also singing another jilted woman part Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos.