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“Masquerade, paper faces on parade
Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you
Masquerade, every face a different shade
Masquerade, look around, there’s another mask behind you”
While listening once again to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, I created this particular painting. I had already chosen the oil colors prior to selecting the soundtrack. With brush in hand and the music filling the room, for the volume was definitely turned up, the paints began to tell a story on the canvas. Eventually, the song “Masquerade” began to play. I think it is song 10 on the soundtrack. Indeed, this song has intense vocals and high energy that is great to paint to. So, as I usually do while painting and listening to music, I belt out the words to the song. The painting continued to evolve. Close to completion, I step back and gaze upon it. Then, I know immediately this particular oil abstract with it gray, white, black and gold colors representing various whimsical floating shapes will be titled “Masquerade”.
Did you know that during the 16th century Italian renaissance, Masquerade balls became public affairs with dancing and socializing to celebrate the Venetian Carnevale? The history of the masquerade is quite fascinating. For it is a social gathering of persons wearing masks and often fantastic costumes. It is said that the event originated in Venice, Italy in the 15th century as elaborate dances for the upper class. Eventually, they evolved into costumed balls and festivals for the public.
Masquerade – Masks, Balls Popularity
Additionally, the masquerade spread in popularity throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th century. It was an event that brought people together of all classes, nobleman and commoners. In fact, it became an outlet for many to depart from their lives and enter into a world of pretend, hiding themselves behind masks, and taking on another identity. Even the masks worn for these balls were made of various materials, such as clay, velvet and so much more.
Did you know that the masks are also custom made for each actor playing the Phantom? Since everyone’s face is different, over 300 masks have been constructed for Broadway’s various Phantoms. In addition, the reason the phantom’s mask partially covers his face is because performing the intense role with a full-face mask proved to be too difficult. Therefore, the half mask has since become an iconic symbol for the Phantom.
Moreover, the Phantom of the Opera is definitely a mega hit and is currently in its 32nd year on Broadway. Also, it’s the only show to have reached 10,000 performances on Broadway. If you would like to listen to some interesting facts about this Broadway hit, listen to Masquerade / Why So Silent?
Dare to Feel,
Red (Linda Harrison)
See more of Red’s Creations in her gallery.