No one likes to languish in airports. First, there's the tortuous wait, barefoot, in line to clear security, hoping your bottle of mega-hold gel isn't confiscated as weapons-grade grooming gear. Then there's the airport food. Whether it's a $12 steam-table hamburger or $12 coffee, you'd better enjoy it, since you'll be lucky to score a couple of crumbly pretzels while in the air. But thanks to the Phoenix Airport Museum, being stuck in airport terminals is a lot less, well, terminal. According to Lennee Eller, the museums program director, "Our mission is to support our cultural resources. Basically, we say Welcome to Arizona. We're cool.'"
The Airport Museums new Teatro Massimo Bellini Opera Costumes exhibit came about through one of Phoenixs sister-city programs. "The Teatro Bellini Opera is located in Catania, Italy, and is really considered the soul' of the Italian opera," says Eller. The company was established in 1890, and has shown nearly every Bellini opera since Norma. The Teatro exhibit includes two contemporary costumes from Norma and two from Verdis La Traviata and Un Ballo in Maschera.