Been reading a lot of Jeanette Winterson lately and noticing that her love of the opera keeps surfacing in her writing.
In Written on the Body, to describe somebody s/he doesn’t particularly care about the narrator says that among other things, “she never wanted to be taken to the opera.”
Later in the same book, the woman that the narrator is in love with — and that may or may not be based on Pat Kavanagh — offers tickets to the opera.
During the interval of The Marriage of Figaro I realised how often other people looked at Louise. On every side we were battered by sequins, dazed with gold. The women wore their jewellery like medals. […] The jewels glinted their own warning at Louise’s bare throat. She wore a simple dress of moss green silk, a pair of jade earrings, and a wedding ring.
In Gut Symmetries, the opera Don Giovanni gets mentioned and its libretto quoted by the treacherous man in the triangle.
My friend Marieke recently reminded me that it was Jeanetter Winterson’s story that takes the central space in the booklet for the von Otter’s Carmen Opus Arte DVD. How could I have forgotten! It was written from the point of view of Don Jose, of course, so we as readers can partake in the Carmen worship.
Here’s also a good BBC interview with La Winterson in which we can hear some of the reasons why she loves the opera so much: Late Show – Face to Face with Jeanette Winterson.
I’m reading Passion now and waiting for the first opera reference to emerge. Anybody else came across opera stuff in her other works?