Bienvenues à tous! Welcome everyone to act III of La Diva. Critics and playwrights, please be ready to think about the final act. You will have the opportunity to write act IV and submit your work for a chance to determine La Diva's destiny! Please feel free to take some time to make a cup of tea or café, relax and think about how you would finish this play. Two paragraphs are all that is needed; three if you wish, but no need to carry the final act until the middle of the night; there is a cast party to be had! Please submit your ideas by next Saturday, April 4, 2009. Your ideas will be posted that weekend, and you will vote for YOUR favorite version. The winner will have their work included on the final post of La Diva, be acknowledged along with the author Camille Benoit as the writer of the final act and will receive...a handmade book of La Diva©, from the Atelier of Castles Crowns and Cottages.
Let us begin...
Meanwhile, in Anastasie...Isabeau continued to bring a certain beauty to the stage; faint and almost colorless, she had become like the make believe trees and painted skies that stood lifeless on stage. The scent of burning candles from the glass chandeliers that hung from the ceilings was unlike the perfume of the flowers in the meadow that smelled of life; the dripping wax burned away all hope of burgeoning life and truth and left Isabeau void of passion. As her sweet song once surged from the joy of being a beautiful blue songbird, her now insipid vibratos dimmed in the pale, brown dusk.
It had been several years since Isabeau left the woods. The little girl who had loved her grew up into a fair but sad young woman. Her piercing eyes told the story of the forest; the once verdant home of the beautiful songbird stood still and quiet. No longer was the air filled with the song of angels, long gone was the sweetness of the lavender scent that wafted in the gentle breeze and forgotten was the sparkle of blue gossamer skies. Both beast and mortal longed for the soothing waters that rained from the sky at the beckoning of Isabeau's sweet voice. For you see, Isabeau was the soul of the forest.
Night after night, she was escorted to the theatre in a golden carriage. She was no longer able to spread her wings and fly freely from branch to branch to sing; she was a feathered soul trapped in a mortal body and a dark box of pipe dreams.
The inevitable came one day; she was taken to the Hall of Divas where she was shown a display of all of the Divas that had ever sang in Anastasie.
There, stood lifeless a multitude of chanteuses frozen in a moment of glory. Donning vestiges of their former lives as magnificent song birds with great plumes and delicate wings, they were locked in a distant memory in this cold yet mesmerizing hall of stone. "It is your time, Isabeau" said her companion. "You will be immortalized in this hall as a tribute to Anastasie under one condition; you must promise your soul to the kingdom and to no other. If you betray your vow, you will be forgotten forever, as if you had never existed." That night, a messenger came to the window as the Diva contemplated the decision set before her. "Come and sing for us in the woods one last time so that we may live Isabeau, for if you do not return to your birthplace, the forest will die." Isabeau was troubled by the words of the feathered harbinger. "Why one last time?", she thought as she lay on her gilded bed of gold and cried herself to sleep.
All text and new photography the property of Castles Crowns and Cottages©
Paintings: John William Waterhouse, "Destiny"
William Adolph Bouguereau, Unknown title and "Italian Girl Drawing Water"
Frederick Sandys "White Maiden" and "Iris"
Vintage photography: "The Opera House" courtesy of Lisa Kettell's Photostream on Flickr.com