Tag Archives: Roman “Candles” Fisher

Mozart Reimagined – Cosi Fan Tutte

31 Aug

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature photos illustrating Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte”, a olden-timey romantic comedy.

Mozart Reimagined features five photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Cosi Fan Tutte

Mozart Reimagined features five photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Cosi Fan Tutte

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 Cosi Fan Tutte pictures:

“The opera is unique in that while it’s a comedy, by the end (and I’m talking about the play itself here, not any particular production) nothing is really that funny anymore. The misogyny is pretty rampant, and even now, after years of hanging out with it, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be taken at face value or if it’s meant to be seen as satirical. After turning gender and rank on its head in Figaro and Don Giovanni, the ending of Cosi Fan Tutte seems calculated to raise some eyebrows.
The story follows two young boys who are in love with two sisters. An older philosopher named Don Alfonso tells the boys that, “The Fidelity of women is like the Arabian Phoenix, everyone swears it exists, but no one has ever seen it.” Essentially, he is saying that women are incapable of staying true to men. The boys take offense to this. So, like any good teen comedy, they make a bet. In order to prove that their girlfriends are the embodiment of fidelity, they will do anything Don Alfonso tells them to do in an attempt to trick their girlfriends into cheating on them. If the girls remain faithful, the boys win the money, and if the girls cheat, Don Alfonso gets the money.”

 

Cosi Fan Tutte, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

Cosi Fan Tutte, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

Learn more about all of the costumes from this shoot 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.

Mozart Reimagined – Don Giovanni

28 Aug

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature photos illustrating Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, one of the greatest works of art created by man.

Mozart Reimagined features four photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Don Giovanni

Mozart Reimagined features four photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Don Giovanni

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.

The Don Giovanni photos are also an award winning set of photos (3rd place WPPI) and remain some of the most popular photos featured in the book.

Here’s an excerpt from the book which accompanies the Don Giovanni pictures:

“One thing you will notice thematically, and this is the whole point of the opera, is that every chance someone has for vengeance or justice is thwarted by circumstance. Every attempt at resolving the issue of abuse, rape, or murder is stunted. All the characters are left in an eternal state of turmoil, as things get more and more frustrating. Don Giovanni gets away with everything, and there is nothing these people can do to find relief from their pain.”

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

 

Model and actor Joshua Kuehl portrays Don Giovanni with a whole slew of extras. You can see some behind-the-scenes images here.

You can also view posts for both the men’s costumes and women’s costumes on their own pages. I built them all, so go check ’em out.

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.

Mozart Reimagined – Mitridate

29 Jul

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature numerous photos illustrating Mozart’s “Mitridate”, which, along with “The Marriage of Figaro,” is one of my favorite Mozart operas. It’s one of the plays that I am most passionate about, know the most intimately and spend the most time with. Hopefully my love for the play is reflected in my photos and writing!

Mozart Reimagined features four photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Mitridate

Mozart Reimagined features four photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Mitridate

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 these images:

“Originally, the young Mozart began to write music for the lead actress, Antonia Bernasconi, before he met her. She was to come later with her own music, which she had performed in an earlier setting of the play, and then decide which music to use; would she use her own, or Mozart’s? Once she showed up, she was so delighted with the music Mozart wrote, that she asked him to scrap the outline he had already written for her and work together to sculpt Aspasia’s arias specifically to her own vocal capabilities. This, of course, is best reflected by Aspasia’s first aria (and opening number to the play) Al destin che la minaccia (From the fate that threatens it) which may be one of the finest, most thrilling da capo arias ever to open an opera seria.
Even the original Sifare, a castrato known as Sartorino, was so impressed with the music that he said, “If it does not please the audience, I will let myself be castrated all over again!”

Mitridate Act One by Tyson Vick.

Mitridate Act One by Tyson Vick.

The photos feature a wide range of models including Adrienne Priess from the History Channel’s Ax Men. Also featured is model Trevor Ivanich who can be seen in various campaigns and editorials nowadays, but who was just getting started when he worked with me nearly a decade ago on Mozart Reimagined!

MitridateAct2

I love to write about Mitridate, and you can read all about it. I’ve written about the historical figure Mithridates here, I’ve written about shooting the photos here and here, and my most popular entry on this blog details how I made armor out of craft foam for the photos here.

This is the photo that I will be showing you how I made! Mitridate, Act III, by Tyson Vick.

This is the photo that I will be showing you how I made! Mitridate, Act III, by Tyson Vick.

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.

Don Giovanni Costumes, Menswear

29 Sep

Now that my Mozart Project is nearly finished, and I am working on getting the book ready, I will be taking you on a tour of all those costumes which never got blogged about before! As I am currently preparing the photos for my book which will feature all of my illustrations of Mozart’s operas plus text I am writing about each play, there is very little new costume progress to show you guys! But perhaps you will enjoy looking costumes from the finished photos a little closer?

don_giovanni_group02

 

First up is Don Giovanni! In my award winning photo, seen below, the feast scene in Don Giovanni is depicted. I chose to photograph it like a fashion spread, and therefore made unique costumes for each player, as well as the leads.

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

 

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni’s coat is opulent. The structure is a Renaissance doublet, and the effect used on the fabric is extremely complex. It is essentially hundreds of pintucks.

Jake models the outfit worn  by Don Giovanni to show it off clearly.

Jake models the outfit worn by Don Giovanni to show it off clearly.

This, to date,is the most difficult costume I have made. It is the only one that I have ever attempted that I thought I might have to quit because of the difficulty. I used an idea from the book Fabricate by  Susan Wasinger (which is practically free on Amazon, so click that link and git it!) where pintucks are overlapped to create a fabric made of ridges.

A close up of the fantastic detail of the coat.

A close up of the fantastic detail of the coat.

The problem with the tutorial is that it was impossible to control over the size and dimensions of the doublet pattern, and after the first two rows, it went completely insane. I was about to give up, when my mother suggested doing the strips separately. Essentially, cutting each strip, folding it over once, sewing it down, and then repeating that process. This is what I ended up doing, and it worked great.

 

The models lounge around on the sofa.

The models lounge around on the sofa.

 

The doublet is made out of eco-felt (a felt made out of recycled bottles), because at the time, which was very early in my garment making (it’s basically the fifth thing I ever sewed), I could not afford anything expensive because the yardage required for something like this is quite a lot.

 

Leporello

Leporello basically makes this image. People love how he is just in the background eating, while everyone else is looking so Fashionable! I think this evokes the nature of the party scene, where musically, Don Giovanni has things to do and Leporello just wants to eat.

I built a new shirt for Leporello. Many years before this big scene image, Jon portrayed Leporello in an image with Donna Elvira. That was back before I was making costumes, and so his shirt is just the most pirate-y looking thing I could buy at a store. I decided to build him a very similar shirt, but with much bigger sleeves, for his return to model for me again.

Damask Pirate Shirt worn by Leporello.

Damask Pirate Shirt worn by Leporello.

The shirt is made out of an awesome rayon-knit damask. I drapes romantically, and I loved the fabric. I have some more, because I bought it all, to make even more fun shirts!

The Damask shirt from the front and back.

The Damask shirt from the front and back.

 

Masked Boy Player – Zani

The boy in the Zani mask, playing the flute, also wears a pirate shirt. This one was 100% rayon, and reveals a lot of the man’s torso. Unlike Leporello’s above, this one can actually close. Each “player” who is entertaining Don G. is based off of a Commedia Character. This flautist is Zani, a character in stock comedy who comes on the scene to do something hilarious whenever the audience looks a little bored.

zani_01

This shirt is just a New Look pattern that I liked to use in my early shirt making exploits. I still like it, but I feel like I need to alter it for a man’s body, because the sleeve and waistline fit a little small.

Jake modeled this shirt in Kismet Magazine, not just to photograph it better!

Jake modeled this shirt in Kismet Magazine, not just to photograph it better!

All the players are given outfits that enhance their sex appeal. When we go over the ladies dresses you will see one emphasizes breasts, on legs and the other hips (hilariously).

white_rayon_pirate_shirt_front

This shirt looks more renaissance than Leporello’s, which is more Pirate.

white_rayon_pirate_shirt_frontback

Stay tuned for the next post, which will feature all the ladies costumes!

And remember to subscribe to this blog, because I’m going to be putting up a lot of costume posts, and you won’t want to miss them!

Awarded 1st Place in WPPI Photography Contest!

12 Aug

I am pleased to announce that my photo of Judith has won the First Place and Silver Award in WPPI’s Photography Competition in the Creative Composite Category in recognition of Photographic Excellence!

First Place Award - Creative Composite - WPPI Photography Competition

First Place Award – Creative Composite – WPPI Photography Competition

My Don Giovanni photo took 3rd Place in the same competition! Please check out the other winners and categories at the 2014 WPPI winners page!

Third Place Award - Creative Composite - WPPI Photography Competition

Third Place Award – Creative Composite – WPPI Photography Competition

Thank you to all of the models and stylists involved! Thank you also to the Puffin Foundation Grant which made the Judith photo possible!

Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher’s Stone) – Photos and Costumes

18 Apr

“Der Stein der Weisen” or “The Philosopher’s Stone” is an opera that Mozart wrote as a collaboration with many other composers. Frau Mozart describes the writing style as each actor writing his main part and then passing it around to Mozart who made little changes or orchestrations here and there. He is known to have authored around 30 minutes of original music entirely himself.

The story is a fantastic Asian Fantasy story, involving two warring gods, a kidnapped maiden, a boy over-laden with weapons who has to rescue her (Like Link in Zelda!) and a buffoon and his sexy wife who gets turned into a cat.

Der Stein der Weisen Title. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Model: Sunny Brains Berro.

Der Stein der Weisen Title. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Model: Sunny Brains Berro.

I chose to illustrate the photos in a way that evokes the styles of video games like Zelda and Final Fantasy, since the plots of those games are strikingly similar to the story of this opera. The genie in the opera brings a magic bird which sings for the most beautiful maiden who winds up kidnapped by the god of the sky. I based the genie off of Buddha.

Der Stein der Weisen Act 1. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Lizzie Hatfield. Models: Sierra Rae, Meilyn Saychow, Kolya Cain

Der Stein der Weisen Act 1. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Lizzie Hatfield. Models: Sierra Rae, Meilyn Saychow, Kolya Cain

In the climax, the hero accidentally kills the maiden after shooting her with an arrow while trying to rescue her. Happily is saved by the magic of the Philosopher’s stone which brings her back to life.

Der Stein der Weisen Act 2. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Models: Sunny Brains Berro, Katie Gibson

Der Stein der Weisen Act 2. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Models: Sunny Brains Berro, Katie Gibson

Here is a view of the corset the heroine is wearing.

Corset for Der Stein der Weisen

Corset for Der Stein der Weisen

I made a cat hat for the photos, as seen below, but it doesn’t make it into the final photos.

Nadir's Hat, Der Stein der Weisen

Cat Hat!

The hero of the story, Nadir, is costumed in bright orange and white. I made the shirt out of silk, and was going for an elvish sort of look.

Orange shot silk shirt made for Nadir with piping.

The shirt has a design of piping. I made channels and ran some piping through them to make a cool design.

A little more detail on Nadir’s silk shirt.

The hero also has Trapunto pants. I based the pants off of a character from the video game Magna Carta designed by Hyung-Tae Kim.

The image I based Nadir’s trapunto pants comes from a book called Oxide 2 by Hyung-Tae Kim.

The pants feature a cross design. The pants are made out of bridal satin, and the back layer is linen. I drew the design on the pants with water erasable pen, then stitched around the design. Next I filled the channels with fiber-fill, the type you use in stuffed animals.

A view of the trapunto pants.

I also build a collared arm piece. It only covers one arm, which is a staple in costuming designed for Final Fantasy.

White arm guard for Nadir’s costume.

All the pieces combined to make Nadir look like a video game style hero.

The armpiece and shirt together are meant to look like something out of a Japanese video game, like Final Fantasy.

My father also carved a horsebow for the hero, which I’m sorry never made it into the final shot, because it is so cool. I actually gave the model Zaden “Sunny” every weapon the character is given in the opera.

Here I am photographing a "Der Stein Der Weisen" picture. The costumes were influenced by video games like Final Fantasy and Magna Carta.

Here I am photographing a “Der Stein Der Weisen” picture. The costumes were influenced by video games like Final Fantasy and Magna Carta.

We shot the photos outside of Los Angeles on the way to Malibu through the hills.

Jadi prepares Katie's hair for the shoot.

Jadi prepares Katie’s hair for the shoot.

Our female model was a no show, and so our friend Katie agreed to take off work to fill in!

Zaden.

Zaden Sunny Brains

 

The genie photos were taken in Seattle on a hill in Gasworks Park.

Nikolai, Sierra and Meilyn Saychow hang out while I adjust fabrics.

Nikolai, Sierra and Meilyn Saychow hang out while I adjust fabrics.

I guess that’s all for today, what do you think?

  • Read more about the Seattle shoot here.
  • Read more about the LA shoot here.
  • There is a great recording of Der Stein der Weisen available for purchase as well if you are interested in rare fantasy opera. It’s one of my favorites.

Mitridate – The Photos

1 May

So, here are my Mitridate photos, at last!

I just love Mitridate, and apparently I love writing about it on my blog! Some of my most popular posts are about Mitridate, including my Craft Foam Armor Tutorial, my History of the real Mithridates and his wives (which explains why my photo of the tyrant king has a female bodyguard!), and my article on Mozart’s Opera.  It is one of my favorite operas, and I listen to it all the time. The music is so fun!

Mitridate Act One by Tyson Vick.

Mitridate Act One by Tyson Vick.

The opera is about the evil King Mitridate who returns from war two find out his two sons have both fallen in love with their father’s new wife while he was away. I photographed this series over the course of many years, always waiting to find the perfect Mitridate. I finally did in Gus Gustuson, and you can read about the shoot in the above photo and how the models showed up to the shoot only for me to discover they were both old family friends!

MitridateAct2

Mitridate, Act II by Tyson Vick.

I have never mentioned the photo above in my blog, though, and I think it’s about time I did! I first worked with Jordynn as Aspasia at the beginning of my project, about seven years ago, when she was still a teenager. (Hers is the Title Image, which is not shown here, but is on my Facebook!) However, a few years down the line, I realized that I wanted the Act II photo to be romantic, so I asked her to return after approving a boy to kiss. I asked Roman to be the boy, and this was the first summer I met him and this was our third shoot together. We have gone on to shoot and get published in numerous magazines. The two models had to hold completely still, about an inch from each other, Jordynn in a sit-up position, for 20 minutes to get this shot. It was quite the feat of endurance!

The Hair and Make-up in these photos is by Lizzie Hatfield, and I did the body art in Act III.

This is the photo that I will be showing you how I made! Mitridate, Act III, by Tyson Vick.

Mitridate, Act III, by Tyson Vick.

These photos are unique in that the backgrounds were created by myself based on the set descriptions in the opera. I wrote five posts about making the photo of Farnace above with the broken tower, including every step from the design, to the photo shoot with Trevor Ivanich, to the photo editing. You can read each part of Illustrating an Opera here: Part 1 – The Design, Part 2 – The Photoshoot, Part 3 – The Composite Elements, Part 4 – Building the Miniatures, Part 5 – Photoshopping the Elements Together.

I hope you enjoy! Until next time!