Photo courtesy of SFO - solarized by CWW
Painter, muralist, scenic designer GRONK is larger than life and so is the wild and wonderful stage set he’s creating for Vivaldi’s Griselda at the Santa Fe Opera. “It’s a painting that’s so happy to be a set,” quips GRONK, who says that the set design for Griselda is challenging because there will be no props and the characters will inhabit the “painting” for the full length of the opera. He’s been at work now for two weeks and has another two to go, but anyone looking at the behemoth 110’ x 18’ stage set/painting can see that it’s almost there. Here are glimpses of the paintings within the painting.
Photos by C. Whitney-Ward
Always the perfectionist, GRONK, is constantly looking at his work. “More time in painting is spent looking than in actually painting,” explains GRONK, who will make tweaks during dress rehearsal when the performers are in costume and the lighting is choreographed. And of course, he will take direction from the Opera’s equally larger-than-life director, Peter Sellers, who collaborated with GRONK on Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, for the Santa Fe Opera’s 2005 season.
GRONK eschews fancy materials for his stage sets. His "canvas" is white muslin, most of the paints come from Home Depot, and his favorite brushes cost 99-cents. "I like when the bristles fall off into the work," laughs GRONK. "It adds a certain roughness."
Performances for Griselda are:
July 16,20, 29 & August 4,9,19