John F Martin  |  In Character

I first had the opportunity to participate in the San Francisco Opera as a supernumerary in 1997. I soon developed a passion for a world I would at one time have dismissed. To be in the midst of the most exquisite music imaginable is an unparalleled experience. In addition, I witnessed the transformation that occurs on a regular basis, when the artist puts on a costume and becomes a character. I began to envision a photographic project about the characters and costumes of the artists in the San Francisco Opera.

Opera is a world of passion and beauty, of story and spectacle, using the vehicle of voice. But intricate collaborations evolve to become the production. I have observed these, while I gained the trust of those with whom I share the stage. My intent, with In Character, is to transport the character from stage to frame, capturing the essence with the media of lens and light. Thus, I re-contextualize the lyricism of the performance and reconstruct the narrative into the realm of the photograph, equally gorgeous and mysterious.

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