Around 1783, Mozart began to set one libretto to music, and then abandoned it, before taking up another and abandoning it as well. The first unfinished opera, “L’oca Del Cairo” (The Goose of Cairo) had one (of three) acts almost completely set, and he abandoned it because he thought it was stupid. The second, “Lo Sposo Deluso”, was never even mentioned by Mozart in any of his correspondence, and has been made even more mysterious by the uncertainty of the librettist (play’s author.)
“Lo Sposo Deluso” has five numbers, only three of which were completely finished by Mozart before he left the project. The finished pieces include a fantastic overture (1.) that leads into a fast paced ensemble (2.), and a trio featuring dismal lamenting from the participants. The other two numbers are single arias.
The play’s title, which means “The Disappointed Bridegroom” has the subtitle, “The Rivalry of Three Women for One Single Man”. Coupled with the knowledge that the Buffo bass, Bocconio Papparelli, is getting married in the opening ensemble, and that every woman in the cast list is described as being in love with someone named Don Asdrubale, and an equal amount of men are in love with them, I’d have to say that poor Bocconio Papparelli must be left without a mate by the end, and is, himself, the Disappointed Bridegroom.
I was truckin’ along, doing some nice photo shoots, when I came to my first shoot for “The Marriage of Figaro.” I created some pretty fantastic photos. In fact, they put some of what I had done to shame. It was then that I decided to up my game, and use the Figaro shoot as the standard for my Mozart Project photos. This meant that some of my original photos would have to be re-shot.
One example of this, is the “Lo Sposo Deluso” shoot with my good friend Michelle in Illinois. These hilarious and enjoyable photo shoots were both a lot of fun, but one yielded ho-hum pictures and one yielded pictures that were hilarious and fun as the shoot itself.
Outtakes from the first "Lo Sposo Deluso" shoot on the Left, and from the Re-shoot on the Right.
At the first shoot, I had a good idea in mind of what I wanted, based on an aria sung by a character named Eugenia. In the story, a very prim and business-like woman arrives at a staircase with no one to carry her luggage up to the top. This makes her quite indignant, and she starts to sing about it. Her passions over-take her, and by the end she’s having flights of coloratura up and down the scale — the song is a perfect little comic scene.
For this first shoot, Michelle and I went on an adventure to purchase all of the clothing. We bought a Suit, blouse, hat, and glasses. With the second shoot, however, I made the outfit, and we went on an adventure to purchase the hair. One interesting thing to note is that the hat, glasses, books, suitcases and location are the same in the new photograph, even though both shots were taken a few years apart.
Michelle with a heavy suitcase, trying to get up the stairs. Michelle and I at our first "Lo Sposo Deluso" shoot.
For our second shoot, I decided we needed dogs! But we discovered that putting a wig on the back of Michelle’s head, wasn’t as easy as putting one over the top, and we were a bit late to the location. The puppies were waiting! Our puppy wrangler, Ms. Eliason, was gracious enough not to stab us in the face.
The puppies, both black poodles, were very well behaved and obedient during the shoot, however, they slowly began to grow bored with the proceedings. Apparently, photos aren’t as stimulating for dogs as they are for humans. If you go through the photo outtakes in order, you can see that the dogs slowly start to droop lower and lower as the shoot progresses, until finally, they are asleep on the steps.
Here are our sleepy puppy models. Ms. Eliason and Michelle standing, humans.
During my project, I have decided to do a re-shoot every once in a while. This is almost always due to costuming, which I think could be better in some cases. If possible, I usually ask the same models back, and really it just gives us another chance to have some fun. Instead of One Delightful Day, we get two!
COMING UP NEXT – Get a closer look at the design and the Costume that Eugenia wears in “Lo Sposo Deluso”!