Sometimes life isn’t all that sentimental. Even though I’ve been taking photos which illustrate the operas of Mozart for just-shy-of a decade, the last photo shoot for the project did not make me feel too many emotions. In fact, I had planned to do this photo just around the time my father died, and I had to put it on hold to run my Father’s estate. After all that was finished, I sat down, looked through all my Mozart photos, made a list of what was needed to finish the project, where I could use old photos rather than taking new ones, and discovered that only one image was required to finish the photography part of the book. The feeling I got was “git ‘er done!” more than anything!
I wanted to Illustrate Act II of “La Clemenza di Tito”, which means “The Clemency of Titus”, an opera about a princess who plots to assassinate the emperor and the boy she’s hired to do her dirty work. For years I had been planning a cool Greco-Roman inspired dress for the Princess, Vitellia, but after my new project “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters” cropped up, I decided to use the only dress that I made for Mozart Project but never got around to using.
My cousin Elizabeth came to portray Vitellia, and my friend Jake came to portray the would-be-assassin, Sesto.
Jake and Elizabeth have both appeared in Mozart Project in different photos over the years. Jake appears as Hyacinth in “Apollo et Hyacinthus”, and Elizabeth portrayed Susanna from “The Marriage of Figaro” around six years ago. Jake also portrayed Sesto for the other images taken to illustrate this opera all those years ago, and is actually reprising his role.
The final shot for this project was done outside, and is the only digital image in the entire book. All the rest of the images were taken with 35mm film. The reason I did this is because (as Chantell and Cortney are no doubt aware) my last film photo negatives took me over a year to get around to scanning, and frankly, the cost and time it takes to do film have taken their toll. After this photo, film will be reserved for very special occasions, and will not be my main medium.
Now that all of my Mozart Project photos are taken, there are only around five images left to edit or composite! One is a very large undertaking – the Idomeneo royal family image requires SO much work — and the others will be finished shortly. I hope to finish and put together this project as a book sometime in 2015, and will certainly keep you all updated on what is going on there.
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