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September 4th, 1976
Utter exhaustion. La Scala rehearsals today from 3:00 PM until 1:30 AM. Simon Boccanegra and Macbeth. Macbeth opens Tuesday night. President and Mrs. Ford, Henry Kissinger, the President of Italy and every name in Washington will be there. I am a Scottish solider in the finale. Tonight was dress piano rehearsal. Standing for hours in leggings, leg bands, arm bands, calf length velvet kits, brass armor front and back, fake beard and wig, plus a suffocating brass helmet. Compete with sword. My whole part is to climb a giant stairway in back of the set with a six-foot tree, which when placed in position becomes part of the forest out of which all the soldiers come running brandishing swords– and run offstage. Then, the actual finale when we march onstage and simply stand at attention.
The excitement of just being there overwhelms me. Part of the magic of the complete picture.
Tonight we were allowed to sit in the theater and watch Act I. Religious fantasies pale in my eyes at the glory that La Scala has presented to the world for years. Herb and I talk about Art with the fascination of Saints with God. Art justifies the entire human experience. I am never happier than I am when I am backstage– waiting for the show.
Theatre, in all of its forms, is to me the embodiment of all life. Opera, music, dance, drama– they are the nucleus of civilization. All culture, all society, all human encounter, all self image and self expectation are secondary reflections of artistic interpretation.
There are those who say that art reflects life. I do not agree. I feel that life is a reflection of our artistic visions.