Tag Archives: Mozart costumes

The Layout of “Mozart Reimagined” is Underway

1 Jul

I just wanted to write a quick update to tell you that I am currently putting together the book, which is called “Mozart Reimagined”. The book will have nearly 100 photographs illustrating Mozart’s operas with costumes made by myself (with some help from Catey, Camille and my Mom). Each opera that Mozart composed is represented in the book by both photos and an essay talking about the opera those photos illustrate.

"Mozart Reimagined" 1st draft layout being made.

“Mozart Reimagined” 1st draft layout being made.

Above you will see a picture of the first draft layout. I wanted to prove I was actually working on it! I’ve had the advice of a graphic designer to make some tweaks to the layout and I should be sending off a for a proof of the book at the beginning of next week!

I will keep you all updated on my progress!

Please subscribe for all the latest updates, because I’m hoping to launch this book in September and you won’t want to miss out!

 

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Costuming an Opera, Part 5 – The Rest of the Idomeneo Cast

30 Apr

Numerous tenors populate the cast of Idomeneo, including Arbace, confidant of the King, and the High Priest of Neptune. Catey and I created these costumes continuing with our blue theme.

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

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

I wanted Arbace to look regal, as he is the King’s confidant. One of the costumes that inspired me was King Joffrey’s wedding garment from A Game of Thrones which features a high collar and prominent sash.

King Joffrey's wedding garment from A Game of Thrones inspired Arbace's costume.

King Joffrey’s wedding garment from A Game of Thrones inspired Arbace’s costume.

We used a blue suede for the coat, which is double breasted.

Arbace's costume under construction.

Arbace’s costume under construction.

The sleeves are curved and have large cuffs. The sash is a sheer textured fabric with a metallic mesh underneath to capture different light effects.

Arbace's costume being made and modeled by actor Miguel.

Arbace’s costume being made and modeled by actor Miguel.

The High Priest also has a blue outfit. He wears a blue robe with very textured cuffs and cowl that drapes over his seashell hat.

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.

This outfit was very successful in my opinion. Each piece looks priestly separately, and together makes a very successful priest costume. The actor, Jess, also has a magnificent posture, which makes him seem just as important as he should — being a High Priest of Neptune.

The creation of the High Priest costume and final fitting with actor Jess.

The creation of the High Priest costume and final fitting with actor Jess.

His cowl is very textured. Texture is the best equipment you can use in stage costumes, I think.

A close up of the priest's cowl.

A close up of the priest’s cowl.

Below you can see Miguel Olivas perform with the dejected chorus at a rehearsal of the opera in full costume as Arbace:

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Costuming an Opera, Part 2 – Creating Idomeneo

27 Apr

The lead character of the opera “Idomeneo” by Mozart is the King of Crete, Idomeneo. When Catey and I were asked to costume this opera, it was important to give Idomeneo a Kingly look.

Idomeneo laments having to stab his own kid to death.

Idomeneo laments having to stab his own kid to death.

I based my basic concept for the lead costume off of the original costume from the first performance of the opera back when Mozart wrote it:

The original Idomeneo costume.

The original Idomeneo costume.

When Idomeneo first washes up on shore, something that happens to people a lot in this play, I wanted to evoke a wet feel. There wasn’t a large budget for much set design, so I took a very textured gold fabric and overlayed a sheer sparkling blue on top to express coming out of the sea.

The lowest layer of Idomeneo's costume under construction. The textured fabric is covered by a sparkly sheer overlay to evoke wetness.

The lowest layer of Idomeneo’s costume under construction. The textured fabric is covered by a sparkly sheer overlay to evoke wetness.

The costume can be seen on stage below as Idomeneo confronts the specter of the person he has vowed to kill, a specter which haunts him.

The sparkly costume in action on actor Ben as Idomeneo.

The sparkly costume in action on actor Ben as Idomeneo.

When he returns home to his throne, he dons his coat, cape and armor.

The coat is one of the two most expensive fabrics in the opera. I once attended a play of cobbled together costumes where the monarch was wearing polyester (because someone thought it looked shiny, and therefore rich, or something) and the poor people were wearing silk, linen and cotton that had been distressed (so it looked shabby?) I decided to avoid the mistake of costuming the richest person in the cheapest fabric, so here you go, Idomeneo, at $35/yd, this coat is the richest piece in the opera.

The idomeneo fabric. Catey and I lay out pattern pieces to fit.

The idomeneo fabric. Catey and I lay out pattern pieces to fit.

The coat is a standard Rococo cut, like a pirate frock coat. If lifted from the bottom front over the top of the head, it creates a full circle of fabric.

Idomeneo's costume under construction. Catey cuts out the pieces.

Idomeneo’s costume under construction. Catey cuts out the pieces.

Catey and I did not manage to line up all of the diamond pattern at the seams, but what you gonna do?

Pinning together the Idomeneo coat.

Pinning together the Idomeneo coat.

We had to travel a few times to the University to take measurements of the entire cast. I also returned later to try some things on the actors.

Below you can see images from the first and final fittings.

The actor of Idomeneo, Ben, at his first fitting and final fitting.

The actor of Idomeneo, Ben, at his first fitting and final fitting.

We also did not have the budget for real armor, so a costume breastplate was used.

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.

I was quite pleased with the way Idomeneo’s costume looked on stage. It was regal, evoked tradition, and seemed to help the actor, Ben, get into character.

Below you can watch a video from a dress rehearsal of Ben Fox in full costume as Idomeneo!

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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!