Cleaning House

March 30, 2016

Chaucer’s got it right, in taking care of our own business, we demonstrate our truth.


“Ruele wel thyself, that other folk canst rede and trouthe thee shall delivere, it is no drede.” Quote from Geoffrey Chaucer, 1343-1400, drawing inspired by illuminated manuscript by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

I will be taking a brief hiatus to clean house and should return in May. Thanks for visiting this blog. I look forward to more adventures in the future.



Wild Thing…

March 24, 2016


“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.” Quote by D. H. Lawrence, drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.


“And Feel the scent of water above the scent of earth a faint wind makes me look up see the water.” English translation of words by Swedish poet Göran Sonnevi, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

And another seascape drawn with a Sharpie pen last year…


Stylized drawing of waves by Meredith Eliassen.

Waves notecard

So the Trade Wind Opera Company concludes its first season with this singular Mascagni operetta in three acts is based upon Carlo Lombardo’s operetta La duchessa del Bal Tabarin and Felix Dörmann’s libretto for Majestät Mimi.


Portrait of Si wearing a strand of millefiore “trade wind” beads from the operetta by Pieto Mascagni (1863-1945) and librettist Carlo Lombardo (1869-1959), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016

This design depicts, Si, a woman with the romantic spirit of a nomad, someone who is initially carefree in her romantic life. Inspired by the design concept of the “girl head” or “gypsy” tattoo, Si has a colorful, bold, pretty face with detailed adornments. According to tattoo historians, this form of tattoo design is traced to nomadic gypsies, also known as the Romanis that migrated to Europe.

Stay tuned for more operatic designs…




Turandot by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is most nearly based upon Turandot by Carlo Gozzi that is in turn based on a story from the 12th-century epic The Seven Beauties by Persian poet Nizami about a princess Turan-Dokht how was the daughter of Turan. Set in China, the Prince Calaf, falls in love with aloof Princess Turandot. In order to obtain permission to marry Turandot, any suitor must solve three riddles correctly, and any wrong answer will result in death. The Calaf passes the test, but Turandot still refuses to marry him. He offers her a way out: if she is able to learn his true identity before the next day dawns, he will sacrifice his own life.


Pictured here are Turandot, the Calaf, and his slave Liù. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Turandot, with a libretto by Giuseppe Adami (1878-1946) and Renato Simoni (1875-1952), was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924 and was completed by Franco Alfano (1875-1954) two years later. It premiered on April 25, 1926.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) composed and wrote the libretto for Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg = Tannhäuser and the Singers’ Contest at Wartburg Castle (1845), which is based uponon two German legends that once again focuses on redemption through love.


Will our protagonist choose mortal love after being seduced by a goddess? Which face with Tannhäuser show? Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.