Tag Archives: Ilia

Costuming an Opera, Part 3 – The Princesses of Idomeneo

28 Apr

The opera Idomeneo features many things — many tenors, many sea monster deaths and many princesses. This post consists of two rival princesses, Ilia and Elettra, and the costumes Catey and I made for them in the University of Montana’s production.

Ilia, a Trojan Princess, in the opera Idomeneo. Costume by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

Ilia, a Trojan Princess, in the opera Idomeneo. Costume by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

Ilia wears a beautiful green-blue silk/metal blend. The fabric is the second most expensive fabric in the opera, fitting her station as a princess. I only got one before picture — the one where the fabric was just lying around, so you’ll have to imagine how it was put together!

The fabric before becoming a dress and after becoming a dress on actress Carly as Ilia.

The fabric before becoming a dress and after becoming a dress on actress Carly as Ilia.

The dress was made to be worn three different ways, but during the production it seemed to settle on the one seen in these pictures. The dress is soft and light to reflect the character of the princess, who is the romantic lead of the play.

Ilia tells Idomeneo that he's like a father to her.

Ilia tells Idomeneo that he’s like a father to her.

You can view Ilia’s dress wafting around in the video below:

Elettra, the rival princess, is a visitor to Crete. She is alternately snubbed and ignored by the entirety of the cast, with a few bones thrown her way — mainly by Idomeneo and Ilia. She wants to marry prince Idamante, but generally just gets crazier and crazier. I wanted her to stand apart from the rest of the characters in both color scheme and dress shape. Each time she comes on stage her dress changes a little.

Elettra's dress in its three forms. Costume by Tyson Vick.

Elettra’s dress in its three forms at a fitting. Costume by Tyson Vick.

I did not get any images of the creation of this dress because it took a lot of thought. It has around 13 yards of fabric in it, a gold metallic underskirt with gold netting overlay that flows in a train behind her.

Some images of her moving can be seen below. The effect was very beautiful.

The only pics I could get of Elettra's dress from different angles.

The only pics I could get of Elettra’s dress from different angles.

There is a hoop under her skirt to give some volume to the many gold layers. Watching her rise and fall was very fun.

Elettra in the opera Idomeneo wears a costume by Tyson Vick.

Elettra in the opera Idomeneo wears a costume by Tyson Vick.

Below you can see a video of Elettra’s dress in action:

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Costuming an Opera, Part 1 – Idomeneo at the University of Montana

23 Apr

I disappeared from blogging for a while recently. Partially this was because I ran out of costumes to yammer on about, but the main reason is that I was busy costuming Mozart’s opera “Idomeneo” for the University of Montana with my costuming partner Catey Lockhart.

The director of the opera, Anne Basinski, has been following this blog for awhile, and she wrote to me asking if I’d participate in the University’s production of Idomeneo. I said I would do it if Catey helped, and Catey agreed! So we created costumes for six leads.

A scene from Idomeneo featuring three of the leads, Idamante, Idomeneo and Elettra. Costumes by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

A scene from Idomeneo featuring three of the leads, Idamante, Idomeneo and Elettra. Costumes by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

The opera, ostensibly about a giant sea monster attack where a thousand people die of vomiting black tar, was put on by the students at the University of Montana. Many of the leads are graduate students. Idomeneo features two princesses, numerous cast members washing up on shore and many tenors. Sometimes tenors washing up on shore! 

Ilia, a Trojan Princess, in the opera Idomeneo. Costume by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

Ilia, a Trojan Princess, in the opera Idomeneo. Costume by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

This year the budget was small, and nearly the entire budget was devoted to these costumes. The director wanted them to stand out and to evoke the sea, in many differing shades of blue, except for the visiting princess, Elettra, who is an outsider, which we reflected in her color scheme of gold and red.

Elettra in the opera Idomeneo wears a costume by Tyson Vick.

Elettra in the opera Idomeneo wears a costume by Tyson Vick.

The costumes of the chorus were selected from the opera of the previous year, which had many dancers and choristers. For Idomeneo, shades of blue and sea colors were chosen for all the chorus members.

Vomited black tar to death, poor dear. In this scene from Idomeneo the High Priest looks over the carnage caused by the seamonster.

Vomited black tar to death, poor dear. In this scene from Idomeneo the High Priest looks over the carnage caused by the seamonster.

The effect I was going for was to evoke the original production’s mix of 1700s and the ancient world.

Idomeneo and Arbace wear costumes by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

Idomeneo and Arbace wear costumes by Tyson Vick and Catey Lockhart.

In the next few days, I will be posting about how Catey and I made the costumes!

Idomeneo – Ilia’s Gown

24 Nov

In the opera Idomeneo, a captive Princess falls in love with the enemy Prince. It’s all very romantic. She is very calm, and loving, and full of tranquil beautiful music. Her name is Ilia.

 

Ilia

When designing her gown, I wanted it to reflect the concept of tranquil waters. It is made from shot silk which is silk with a different colored warp and weft. The silk is also transparent, and underneath I put a layer of gold netting. In real life, when the gown moves, it looks like you are looking into tranquil waters.

Ila's sea inspired gown for my Idomeneo Photos.

Ila’s sea inspired gown for my Idomeneo Photos.

The straps are made of crystal beads, and the high set waist is lined with real pearls.

Bodice detail.

Bodice detail.

The dress buttons up the sides, and each button has a blue gem in the center.

The dress buttons up the side.

The dress buttons up the side.

The bottoms of the skirts are beaded and trimmed. I feel this evokes sea-foam and detritus that washes up on shore.

The layers of netting and silk create a shimmer effect like looking at still waters.

The layers of netting and silk create a shimmer effect like looking at still waters.

If you’d like to read about the model who wore this costume, Chantell, and her lover for sharp objects, read this post!

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

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

In the photo below, you can see the button-up side detail.

Chantell with the little girl (Just over the camera) who thought Chantell was a real Princess. Bowen and I.

Chantell as Ilia, holding my camera. On the right I stand with the male model, Bowen.

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