A few days ago I flew back to Rome and checked into the sweet little B&B where they know my name, and welcome me as a friend. Originally, I had planned the trip around a dangling airline ticket left over from that time I missed my plane and was forced to buy a new round trip ticket home. My four days very well could have been a mini-vacation, but by the time I had packed my bags to leave Switzerland, I had an intense feast of tours and meetings lined up, not the least of which was the gorgeous Farani Sartoria Teatrale in Rome’s crusty Trastevere district.
How I love Roma.
Just a short walk from the B&B, I entered the huge but unassuming doors to the workshop. Giuty, the costume maker I met in Torino a few months back, welcomed me with outstretched hands. I was late (address confusion) and the opera singer Raffaele Pe had just had a fitting.
Giuty had pulled out key costumes for the tour, below Fellini’s The Clowns (1970).
And a costume worn by Richard Burton in Casanova.
At the visual starting point for luscious film, theatre and opera productions – seeing all that splendour reduced to its most basic and accessible form awakened something inside me. Great art starts with a drawing. Greatness in general begins with a thought in your own crusty district. And step by step, meticulously, it becomes something bigger than life.
And if I can apply that on days when I fear that my own work or life pale in comparison to others, if I can just concentrate, draw one line, pick one fabric, stitch one stitch every day, then my own life opera could be so grand.