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What's With All the Masks?

Red mask with rhinestones

Photo credit: Anna Luther

Have you wondered why Le Tre Fenici is so fond of masks?

Why are masks on the the posters? Why are masks in the shows?

Why do Le Tre Fenici keep asking you all to wear masks, too?

At the heart of this small chamber ensemble also lies Commedia dell'arte, a 16th-century form of theatrical entertainment that relied heavily on masks to describe the characters.

Consider the Harlequin/Jester or--even in passing from modern music--Scaramouche.

Even if Le Tre Fenici are not wearing physical masks, we will allude to them through make-up and facial rhinestones.

In Cabaret du Neànt, Le Tre Fenici utilized masks to illustrate the personalities of each spirit:

  • Allison McDermott embodied a malicious Harlequin

  • Zohra Rawling’s bird-like beak make-up was Scaramouche, the plot stirrer

  • Lindsey Reiker as clear-headed Columbina

The Carnival of Venice show features Bauta on its poster. Bauta’s full costume shows us that we can be whoever we want to be. The Bauta mask allowed social mixing that would have impossible under the strict Venetian mores. He lights the way to Lyric hall in the winter snow, to a lovely party with fanciful music, costumes that conjure the Rococo silhouette.

Harlequin returns, this time played by Gretchen Frazier. New appearances by Columbina, the saucy soubrette, as voiced by Zohra Rawling, as well as Trivellina, the agile one, by astounding circus performer Allison McDermott, and more!

Do not miss Le Tre Fenici’s Carnival of Venice; party like it’s 1599!

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