Tag Archives: Outtakes

Mozart Reimagined – Le Nozze di Figaro

26 Aug

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature photos illustrating Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”, my favorite Mozart opera, and the chapter featuring the most photos and the most personal anecdotes in the text.

Mozart Reimagined features seven photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Le Nozze di Figaro

Mozart Reimagined features seven photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Le Nozze di Figaro

Mozart Reimagined showcases nearly 100 photos that bring to life Mozart’s operas through photography. I spent a decade building props and sets, meeting models and photographing across the country to showcase what Mozart’s music has meant to me. The book also features essays written about each opera from my own unique perspective. The book humorously points out plot-holes, gives insight into past and present performances, recites a little bit of History and overflows with my own passion for the music of Mozart.

Here’s an excerpt from the book which accompanies the Le Nozze di Figaro pictures:

“The Marriage of Figaro is the play that opened my mind to forgiveness, my ears to music and my heart to joy. This is where my passion for this photography project came from.
It began with Riconosci in questo amplesso (Dearest son, in this embrace Recognise your mother). This is an ensemble where Figaro discovers who his parents are. The song is mostly a set-piece of comedic moments, but it features a unique moment of pathos where Figaro says “This is my mother, she’ll say so herself, and This is my father, he’ll say so himself.” The whole song has been funny up until that point, and those lines have already come and gone separately, but when put one after the other, the music seems to say that Figaro has been fulfilled, that what was lost was found, that what was broken has been fixed – he’s found his wife, his mother, his father and his family — and the four characters’ voices flutter away, like leaves on a breeze, into a hymn of love, leaving the other characters separate, apart.
At the time my mother was suffering from depression and my father had been growing more and more disappointed with me and began calling me “worthless” and “useless.” This scene in the opera meant so much to me as a young man, because that was a feeling that I had longed for — to be loved and accepted by my parents – no matter what evils had gone on between us, just like Figaro and his parents. The first time I had ever felt that feeling was possible thanks to Mozart’s music. I knew, then, that there was more to be found in opera, and more to life.
In the end, I did actually experience that feeling of love and acceptance with my parents, after much struggle and healing, my father apologized and made things right; my mother found help, and we reunited and it was everything Mozart said it would be! (And let the Count burst with our happiness!)”

FigaroAct2

Most of the models in this set are close friends and family members. You can see some behind-the-scenes shots here.

You can also get some in-depth costuming info here, from fabric to garment here, and wig styling here.

I’m going to be giving you a preview of photos from every chapter of Mozart Reimagined over the next month, and then it will be time for pre-orders. I will be launching pre-orders on Kickstarter on September 14th, 2015! Until then, I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the photos and excerpts from the book so you can see what’s in store! Subscribe to the blog for every update, or check back on September 14th for the launch of the book.

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Mozart Reimagined – La Finta Giardiniera

10 Aug

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature photos illustrating Mozart’s “La Finta Giardiniera”, a colorful comedy that started out as an Italian opera and changed into a German musical during the course of Mozart’s short life!

Mozart Reimagined features five photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera La Finta Giardiniera

Mozart Reimagined features five photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera La Finta Giardiniera

Mozart Reimagined showcases nearly 100 photos that bring to life Mozart’s operas through photography. I spent a decade building props and sets, meeting models and photographing across the country to showcase what Mozart’s music has meant to me. The book also features essays written about each opera from my own unique perspective. The book humorously points out plot-holes, gives insight into past and present performances, recites a little bit of History and overflows with my own passion for the music of Mozart.

Here’s an excerpt from the book which accompanies the La Finta Giardiniera pictures:

“When Mozart was given the chance to write an opera again, he jumped at it. The play he set to music was called La Finta Giardiniera which means The False Gardener or The Pretended Garden Girl. The popularity of comic opera, or opera buffa, was on the rise in the late 1700s, and La Finta Giardiniera blends comedic characters and scenes with serious characters and scenes which correspond to the typical opera seria of the day. The opera had an enthusiastic reception, prompting Schubart, a roving poet and music master, to write after seeing it, “I have also heard an opera buffa by the wonderful genius Mozart. It is called La Finta Giardiniera. Here and there the flame of genius flickers, but it has not yet become the calm, peaceful altar flame which climbs towards heaven in clouds of incense. If Mozart’s development has not been forced like a hothouse plant, then he is destined to become one of the greatest composers that ever lived.”

giardinieraact3

The photos were inspired by Technicolor, because I wanted the flowers of the garden to really pop!

I’m going to be giving you a preview of photos from every chapter of Mozart Reimagined over the next month, and then it will be time for pre-orders. I will be launching pre-orders on Kickstarter on September 14th, 2015! Until then, I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the photos and excerpts from the book so you can see what’s in store! Subscribe to the blog for every update, or check back on September 14th for the launch of the book.

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 4 – Idamante from Idomeneo

29 Apr

Somehow I managed to get through this thing without any pictures of Idamante alone.

His costume is a navy blue linen. The actor, Brett, is incredibly tall, and the first time Catey and I made his costume, it was like a mini-skirt. I have pictures of the making of that costume, but that wasn’t the costume he wore as we had to go remake it with a longer hem.

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.

Below you can see Idamante’s outfit more clearly… lol. I jokes. That’s just a picture of him nearly getting his head chopped off!

That one dude's gonna kill that other guy.

That one dude’s gonna kill that other guy.

But if you watch the video of Brett performing “Non temer amato bene” you will get to see his costume, fancy belt and cape in action! Check it out below:

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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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From Concept to Completion for Tyson Vick’s Mozart Photography Project!

19 Jan

Well, I’ve Run Out of Costumes to show you. Over the past three months I have shared nearly every costume I created for my photographic illustrations of Mozart’s Operas. There are three or four pieces hiding in the closet somewhere that I’d like to dig out and photograph for you guys, but then I will have showed you everything!

While this project is getting ready to be compiled and put together in a book, I wanted to show you how it all began!

One day I was walking home from the library after looking for some Mozart Operas to get through the inter-library loan, and I thought, “Hmmm. Maybe I could illustrate my favorite parts of these operas through photography!”

When I got home I drew some sketches on my opera list, which you can see below!

The first thing ever put on paper for my Mozart Photography Project.

The first thing ever put on paper for my Mozart Photography Project.

And after ten years, that list turned into this:

Half of the finished photographs all put together in a collage.

Half of the finished photographs all put together in a collage.

In the image above you can see a little over half of all of the photos I took to illustrate the operas of Mozart! You’ll have to squint, but you can even make out that two of the initial sketches seen in the top sketch image were brought to life and can be seen in the final grid of photographs– lol, it’s a lot of work but on the top image, far right sketch row, second box down (guy blowing away in wind) is the design for row 1 column 5 in the photo set. In the sketch far right, bottom, image of lady with severed head can be seen in the photos row three column 3.

Isn’t that fun to see an idea come to fruition?

Be sure to subscribe to this blog, because now you will start getting all of the information on the books progress! You’ll get to see some of the final photos, and the beautiful costumes, hair and make-up — both Historical and Fantastical! There are also a few costumes left to share with you once I get them photographed! These are exciting times!

 

La Clemenza di Tito – The Gown That Became Vitellia’s

12 Jan

When I first decided to start making costumes from my Mozart Project, it was because I felt I could better bring to life the operas through photography with fantastical and historical costumes. At that time I had already taken a few photos, but felt that I could do better — produce better images — and on many occasions I did re-shoots to more accurately capture my vision. I made a red gown for one of those re-shoots, but never got around to using it. The shoot fell through or never worked out, and so the dress remained.

With only one photo left to take for the project, I decided I would just use that dress, no matter what Historical context it belonged in, just because I spent so much time and money on it. Therefore, this is the dress that Vitellia wears in my “La Clemenza di Tito” images.

Elizabeth shows off Vitellia's gown, make-up and headdress.

Elizabeth shows off Vitellia’s gown, make-up and headdress.

With no connections to Ancient Rome outside of the headdress, the gown actually seems to have a bit of a Medieval flair. Using it on Vitellia was simply a choice based on having a complex gown in the closet, made and never used. Very little thought went into how to make it work Historically, or anything. I did, however, base the headdress on ancient Roman headdresses.

When I was building this dress, my goal was to do elegant ribbon embroidery!

I bought and used numerous silk, polyester and blended ribbons to do the 3-D embroidery. I used beads and pearls, and the one thing I remember about creating this dress was that it started costing more than it was worth. I chose polyester for the gown, and the embroidery started to inflate in price 2-3 times more than the cost of the dress fabric, and as anybody with any sense knows, this is both bad and slightly inept, because the dress grows disproportionate in value if I ever wanted to resell. “Here’s a gown that cost $45 in fabric and has hundreds of dollars and hours sunk into the embroidery! Want to buy it?”

Not only was the cost of the embroidery growing out of control, it began taking so many days. I literally drained my bank account to do the embroidery, and spent at least four days just going to the store search for and buying more embroidery floss. It was awful, and I actually just gave up, calling my mom and saying, the dress is a money pit and I’m done!

I left the dress as you see it in the image directly below…

The dress from center front.

The dress from center front before the embroidery was finished.

Years later, when Catey Lockhart signed on to be my apprentice, I saw a good opportunity to finish the dress. I added thick knitting ribbon on the apex of the bosom, a spot I had initially wanted to fill with more ribbonwork flowers. I also bought a brooch shaped like leaves to finish out the center. Catey added freshwater pearls all along the bottom of the dress, which, frankly, you’ll never see.

Front detail of the ribbon embroidered dress used for Vitellia.

Front detail of the ribbon embroidered dress used for Vitellia.

Looking at the dress now, I feel that it is clearly an early work — it was my third or fourth full scale gown — and all I see is embroidery that never quite got to the point I wanted it. Something that makes me feel better, however, is that my mother loves this dress. She loves the details and the colors, and because I could never resell it (money pit), I can gladly give it to her and allow her to enjoy it for the rest of her years!

A Sleeve detail (left) and back detail (right)

A Sleeve detail (left) and back detail (right)

The sad end to this story is that my embroidery days are over. I cannot physically do it because it makes my eyes hurt, and has caused my sight to go blurry and caused at least two trips to the eye doctor. While 3-D embroidery is cool looking, and has a great texture, this was my one foray into the technique. This was the final reason for using this anachronistic costume in the “La Clemenza di Tito” photo… I wanted this health-threatening, never-ending money-pit to have some sort of payoff!

Please subscribe to this blog, because, for those of you who follow me know, I will be producing a book featuring my images in 2015 and am eager to share all of the progress with you as it happens!