Tag Archives: Opera

Idomeneo – Amphitrite’s Costume

17 Nov

In Idomeneo there is a lengthy chorus celebrating the gods who have guided the military boys home. The gods are seen at sea, also celebrating, and what the chorus describes is generally what I chose to illustrate.

This means the goddess of the sea and wife of Neptune, a goddess named Amphitrite (Am-fit-rit-ee), is seen splashing about. I decided to costume this queen as if the Rococo met the bottom-of-the-sea!

Amphitrite

Model Emma waits around during the shooting of my Idomeneo photo.

Model Emma waits around during the shooting of my Idomeneo photo.

 

The gold part of the gown was meant to look like a crustacean or lobster tail. The blue portion was meant to look like waves cascading down. The whole gown is made of Lamé, a metallic fabric, and seashells.

The Amphitrite gown front and back.

The Amphitrite gown front and back.

The waistline is criss-cross pintucked to add to that shell-fish aesthetic. This whole gown is up for sale on my Etsy as well!

A closer look at the lobster-tail style front.

A closer look at the lobster-tail style front.

All the shells were spray painted gold and glued to the netting. This gown is hand-wash only, and I am pleased to note that I have done so with no ill consequence.

Here's a detail of the netting and seashells.

Here’s a detail of the netting and seashells.

 

Triton

As a bonus, I wanted to show you the matching pants for Triton, whose feet should technically be a split fish-tail, like a double mermaid, but since you don’t see his feet, this is what I made!

The sequins evoke fish scales.

Triton's sequins and seashell pants.

Triton’s sequins and seashell pants.

I hope you will come back next week, or subscribe to my blog to get all the costuming updates!

Idomeneo – Idamante’s Costume

10 Nov

Idomeneo is an opera about a heroic teenage boy who slays a sea monster (Opera scholars might disagree). But that is how I approached Idamante’s costume for my final photo.

The opera takes place in ancient Crete, and so I went for a Gladiator style costume for the character. I made two pieces, an arm guard and a faux-leather skirt, from my own patterns.

Idamante's Costume for my Idomeno Pictures.

Idamante’s Costume from my Idomeno Pictures seen in detail.

During the shoot, the models had a lot of fun, and you can read about it here.

This is Sparta!!!!

Bowen looking all majestic during some down time at the shoot.

I also made some little lace-up boots which you can see in these outtakes, but I honestly don’t remember doing it. My apprentice at the time, Catey, must have done most of the work.

Chantell gets all stabby, while Bowen observes the Lake in the traditional Lewis & Clark manner.

Chantell gets all stabby, while Bowen observes Flathead Lake in the traditional Lewis & Clark manner.

Remember to subscribe to get all these post in your inbox!

Bastien und Bastienne – The Costumes

3 Nov

This one is a real treat! Rococo costumes for kids!

Bastien und Bastienne is an early Mozart opera written by a child (Mozart) for children to perform. It is adorable, and when illustrating it, I decided to cast children as the models and make Rococo costumes for children. A brother and sister portrayed the two characters in my final photo.

Bastien und Bastienne Title, by Tyson Vick.

Bastien und Bastienne Title, by Tyson Vick.

Being one of my early forays into costuming, my mother helped me out with these while she was teaching me to sew, and she actually made the boy’s outfit entirely. I made the girl’s outfit entirely, and did the embroidery on both.

I hope you will check out my mom’s Etsy store Sewing With Twila. She specializes in making things for infants and children.

 

Bastienne

Making a Rococo gown in the style of Marie Antoinette for a little girl was a fun experience. I wanted every costume piece to look cute and pastoral, because the opera is about shepherds, but rococo shepherds, so I wanted it to have that ornate, over-the-top Rococo shepherd feel. The outfits are made out of pink and ivory silk. The ribbon details and flower-embroidery is done with polyester, however.

Rococo gown in the style of Marie Antoinette for a child.

Rococo gown in the style of Marie Antoinette for a child.

I used stiff interfacing instead of boning (or, heaven forbid, nothing) in the bodice. They used to corset children, but I wasn’t playing on that level, then, and I’m still pretty sure I wouldn’t want to corset a child for a photo.

A close up of the details on Bastienne's gown.

A close up of the details on Bastienne’s gown.

I made Ribbon flowers for the bodice using the techniques described in Elegant Ribbonwork by  Helen Gibb. Ribbon flowers were one of my earliest interests, but after some intense work with them, I am physically unable to work on them anymore, as my eyesight always fails when I do. I lose my sight for days after any embroidery work, and I have had to come up with alternate embellishing techniques.

The back of the gown.

The back of the gown.

The gown laces up the back. The costume is actually being worn with an adult size pannier hoop.

Bastienne's hat was made out of a flower basket.

Bastienne’s hat was made out of a flower basket.

I made a little hat out of flower basket for Bastienne. I think it turned out pretty cute.

 

Bastien

The boy’s outfit is matched in every detail to the girl’s. It has the same silk colors, the same ribbon embroidery and reflects the title of the opera “Bastien und Bastienne” which is just the masculine and feminine versions of the same name. Similar to Joseph and Josephina.

The boy's costume, here modeled by Olivia, matches the girl's in every detail.

The boy’s costume, here modeled by Olivia, matches the girl’s in every detail.

My young cousin, Olivia, modeled these two costumes for Etsy when she was 8 years old.

A close up of the details, including ribbon embroidery.

A close up of the details, including ribbon embroidery.

I embroidered up the entire sides of this little coat, and it turned out very prettily.

Back view of boy's rococo outfit.

Back view of boy’s rococo outfit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my costumes for Bastien und Bastienne!

Subscribe to make sure the next costume post comes straight to your inbox!

The Christian from Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots

27 Oct

That crazy German title, “Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots” means “The Obligation to the First and Foremost Commandment”.

This opera, Mozart’s first, is an allegorical play about Christianity where Worldliness (similar to a disguised Satan) comes and tries to lure a sleeping Christian away to earthly pleasures.

My photo illustrates this allegory. The Knight has cast his armor aside, and fallen asleep, while Worldliness disguised as a beautiful woman comes to seduce him.

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

I wanted a super-cool Knight costume for my sleeping Christian, and because I was in my early stages of learning to sew, I wanted to re-create something I loved, the costume Prince Caspian wears in the film “Prince Caspian”.

Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia in a costume by Isis Mussenden.

Isis Mussenden, the costume designer for “The Chronicles of Narnia” blew me away with her handsome outfit from the end of “Prince Caspian”. I wanted to try to recreate it, and like most early costumers, I didn’t know where to look for the correct fabrics. So, I used my favorite, silk, the completely wrong weight.

Jake models the outfit I made for my sleeping Chrisitan.

Jake models the outfit I made for my sleeping Chrisitan.

To bolster the weight, the silk is fused to a heavy interfacing. I altered another pattern, this time really heavily. This was one of the early projects that started to teach me how patterns are made.

Another front view.

Another front view.

I like how the outfit turned out, even though if I were making it today, I probably wouldn’t copy Isis so thoroughly.

The Back.

The Back.

In my images of the costume that I used on Etsy, Jake models wearing a different shirt than the one I used in the photo. The shirt I used in the photo was made from the best fabric I have ever found. I love the colors, the pattern, and I used every inch to make this shirt. It is one of my favorites!

Gold damask shirt.

Gold damask shirt.

Remember to subscribe to the blog to see all of the upcoming costume posts!

Worldliness from Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots

20 Oct

When you look at the title of this post without a background in German, the title of the play just looks like a jumble of letters. I assure you, however, that it means something in English, the equal jumble of letters, “The Obligation to the First and Foremost Commandment”. This opera, Mozart’s first, is an allegorical play about Christianity where Worldliness (similar to a disguised Satan) comes and tries to lure a sleeping Christian away to earthly pleasures.

My photo illustrates this allegory. The Knight has cast his armor aside, and fallen asleep, while Satan disguised as a beautiful woman comes to seduce him.

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

These costumes were some of my earliest costuming work. At this point I was learning how to sew using patterns, and this was the first pattern I needed to alter. This gown comes from Simplicity 3782.

Simplicity 3782

Simplicity 3782

I needed the lower cut bodice to close in the front, and so began my long career of pattern altering.

Elizabeth models this gown for Etsy.

Elizabeth models this gown for Etsy.

This gown also caused a bit of a problem, when after it was complete, I realized it could never — ever — be laundered. It was made out of a Brocade with a Rayon blend and Satin. The rayon would shrink by entire inches when wet, the satin would stain and the boning that I used could not withstand the dry-cleaning. I am now much more careful. I pre-shrink everything — who cares what it is? All of my wool is very tiny now, lol. Or I make sure it can be dry cleaned.

The gown has a full skirt.

The gown has a full skirt.

However, the color choice is still very pretty. I sold this gown on Etsy when I first set up shop! And yes, I told her about the laundering trouble!

The bodice was altered to close in the front.

The bodice was altered to close in the front.

You will also see that I altered the pattern to have more sleeve slashes. I wish now I would have put these on the top of the arm, because you cannot see this detail in the final image very well.

The sleeves pour out of cuts in the back.

The sleeves pour out of cuts in the back.

I also made a corset for this gown!

Elizabeth laughs in the matching corset.

Elizabeth laughs in the matching corset.

The corset was pre-shrunk, thank goodness, and so it won’t warp when you spill water all over yourself. It was made out of scraps which were cut and sewn back together, a bit like a quilt!

The corset is made of strips of yellow and brocade fabric.

The corset is made of strips of yellow and brocade fabric.

This was the first thing I ever listed on Etsy, and it still lingers there, unsold. :( It was even down to $30 once, when I was trying new things and seeing if low prices would move the items. It did not, and so I put it back up, but not, perhaps so high as it should be…. go buy it.

The corset is in the medieval style.

The corset is in the medieval style. and comes from Simplicty Pattern 2621

 

Remember to subscribe to the blog to see all of the costume posts! There is a new one every week, and this will last a while!

Don Giovanni Outtake

13 Oct

I wanted to share this with you guys, because it’s pretty funny. During my Don Giovanni shoot somebody got a picture of me taking this picture:

Don Giovanni Title image with Joshua Kuehl as Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni Title image with Joshua Kuehl as Don Giovanni.

I was going through my outtakes and I found this. I thought it would be fun to share! There I am taking the picture seen above! So much fun!

zani_03

More costumes posts are coming soon, so remember to subscribe!

Don Giovanni Costumes, Womenswear

6 Oct

Last time, we took a look at some of the menswear from my award-winning Don Giovanni photo. Today, I’m going to show you all of the gowns I made for the ladies!

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

As I mentioned in my last post, the image depicts Don Giovanni during his dinner party where the players are entertaining him. Each player is supposed to represent a character from the Commedia Dell’arte and each outfit is supposed to enhance the sex appeal of a certain body part (Bosom, Legs and Hips). Commedia Dell’arte is an art form, the basis of most comedy throughout History, and is formed of stock characters such as the fat buffoonish man (Harlequin) and his sexy wife (Columbina), who you will recognize in modern comedies such as The Simpsons (Homer/Marge), Family Guy (Peter/Lois) and many sitcoms. Each character is represent by a mask, so that no matter who plays Harlequin, the face is instantly recognizable. It’s a lot like a grassroots ad-campaign, getting people to know the characters in a time before television and advertising existed. There are numerous other characters in Commedia as well!

These costumes, while all based on something Historical, are meant to look more High-Fashion and theatrical. I wanted to do a Historical Dolce and Gabbana, essentially.

 

Guitar Player - Isabella

First, the sexy hips of Isabella, the Guitar Lady. Isabella is Commedia Dell’arte figure who is generally a very sassy, strong willed woman who finds love with the help of the other characters.

The model, Danica, wears the dress cheerfully.

The model, Danica, wears the dress cheerfully.

Her dress is based off a dress conceptualized by the illustrator Barbier in his image “Jour et Nuit”. I based my dress of of “jour” down there.

Barbier's illustration "Jour et Nuit" (Day and Night)

Barbier’s illustration “Jour et Nuit” (Day and Night)

I made the gown out of Silk Taffeta, and the bodice, which descends over the hips, is made up of random pintucks of the fabric.

The white, pintucked silk gown worn by the guitar playing lady in my photo.

The white, pintucked silk gown worn by the guitar playing lady in my photo.

The gown laces up the back, and the skirt is lined with tulle to give it some more shape.

The white silk gown from the front and the back.

The white silk gown from the front and the back.

A hoop is placed under the gown to make the hips suuuuuuper wide. Because I’m using a rococo hoop, which is worn at the waist, and the dress extends to the hips, it sort of forces the hoops to pop up through resistance. The neck ruff, which stood up so nicely in the arid climate of Montana, drooped despairingly when we got to the humidity of California, but, there it is.

A hoop is placed underneath and this lifts the hips out.

A hoop is placed underneath and this lifts the hips out.

The lady also wears this lovely vintage set of jewelry I purchased at the local antique market, and which I have listed for sale on Etsy. I am also selling the dress to clear out my closet.

rhinestoneset2

 

 

Masked Lady Plaer – Columbina

Next up is the player based off of Columbina. Columbina is a spunky servant girl who is either married to or in love with Harlequin.

I made her mask out of craft foam on the fly, because a leather one was too expensive to buy.

This mask was made from craft foam and rub-n-buffed to be silver.

This mask was made from craft foam and rub-n-buffed to be silver.

The dress, on the other hand, was a fun one to build! It is also the dress I got into an eternal loop trying to turn. When you sew a garment, you sew it back to front and then turn it through an opening and press the seams. Somehow, I managed to make this dress into a sort of tube, and tried to find the other side of the garment, fruitlessly, for around 20 minutes, before realizing it was impossible to turn. Hilarious sewing antics aside, the gown was made out of all of my white fabric scraps!

The center gown was based of of Harlequin and is made of patches of fabric.

The center gown was based of of Harlequin and is made of patches of fabric.

The gown is a skirt in the front, but has a small train in the back. I was trying to think of a High-Fashion take on a rococo gown, with the wide hips, but that showed off the legs. This is what I got:

The patch dress is a skirt in front but has a train in back.

The patch dress is a skirt in front but has a train in back.

I have a lot of white fabric scraps, and I sewed them together, randomly, to make fabric yardage. I did not use any new fabrics, only scraps!

You can see the patchwork fabrics in this detail.

You can see the patchwork fabrics in this detail.

This lady wears the Jewelry shown below. With this necklace I purchased a super cheap necklace at Walmart and added my own jewel findings to it in order to make it more gaudy.

UpcycledGemstoneNecklaceSet2

 

The Feathered Lady – La Ruffiana

The lady on the far right is based off of La Ruffiana, and if you look closely you will see she is holding an ugly mask. La Ruffiana is a Commedia character who is an ugly old woman, usually a pimp or lady of loose morals. I sort of decided, without telling any of the models, that this lady was the Madame of this troop of players, and I just sort of assumed that they all played instruments, did plays and were available for after-parties (if you know what I mean) for Don Giovanni. In the play, Donna Elvira denounces Don Giovanni for his late night sex parties. Anyway, that’s part of my inspiration for illustrating this scene as a high-fashion, Commedia Dell’arte mash-up.

don_giovanni_group03

The “madame” of the troupe of players on the right.

You will notice this costume displays bosoms prominently. This gown is based off a Renaissance cut and concept, with poofy sleeves and more of an A-Line then the Rococo’s huge hips.

don_giovanni_group01

This dress got stained during its travels, and so I recycled it into another gown for my illustration of “La Finta Semplice”. You can see that process here.

Finally, here is some of the big Jewelry worn by these ladies:

3RingGems2

I hope you’ve enjoyed the look at these Commedia inspired gowns I created for my Don Giovanni photo!

There will be so many costume updates from here on out, that I urge you to subscribe to the blog! You won’t want to miss any posts!

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers