Tag Archives: Roman

One Delightful Day – Final Photograph Taken

5 Jan

Sometimes life isn’t all that sentimental. Even though I’ve been taking photos which illustrate the operas of Mozart for just-shy-of a decade, the last photo shoot for the project did not make me feel too many emotions. In fact, I had planned to do this photo just around the time my father died, and I had to put it on hold to run my Father’s estate. After all that was finished, I sat down, looked through all my Mozart photos, made a list of what was needed to finish the project, where I could use old photos rather than taking new ones, and discovered that only one image was required to finish the photography part of the book. The feeling I got was “git ‘er done!” more than anything!

I wanted to Illustrate Act II of “La Clemenza di Tito”, which means “The Clemency of Titus”, an opera about a princess who plots to assassinate the emperor and the boy she’s hired to do her dirty work. For years I had been planning a cool Greco-Roman inspired dress for the Princess, Vitellia, but after my new project “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters” cropped up, I decided to use the only dress that I made for Mozart Project but never got around to using.

My cousin Elizabeth came to portray Vitellia, and my friend Jake came to portray the would-be-assassin, Sesto.

Elizabeth and Jake prepare to model as Vitellia and Sesto for my final Mozart Photo.

Elizabeth and Jake prepare to model as Vitellia and Sesto for my final Mozart Photo.

Jake and Elizabeth have both appeared in Mozart Project in different photos over the years. Jake appears as Hyacinth in “Apollo et Hyacinthus”, and Elizabeth portrayed Susanna from “The Marriage of Figaro” around six years ago. Jake also portrayed Sesto for the other images taken to illustrate this opera all those years ago, and is actually reprising his role.

Jake and his magic mechanical cigarette.

Jake and his magic mechanical cigarette.

The final shot for this project was done outside, and is the only digital image in the entire book. All the rest of the images were taken with 35mm film. The reason I did this is because (as Chantell and Cortney are no doubt aware) my last film photo negatives took me over a year to get around to scanning, and frankly, the cost and time it takes to do film have taken their toll. After this photo, film will be reserved for very special occasions, and will not be my main medium.

Elizabeth's headdress kept drifting during the shoot.

Elizabeth’s headdress kept drifting during the shoot.

Now that all of my Mozart Project photos are taken, there are only around five images left to edit or composite! One is a very large undertaking – the Idomeneo royal family image requires SO much work — and the others will be finished shortly. I hope to finish and put together this project as a book sometime in 2015, and will certainly keep you all updated on what is going on there.

Here is a behind-the-scenes image of Jake around 6 years ago when he first portrayed Sesto.

Here is a behind-the-scenes image of Jake around 6 years ago when he first portrayed Sesto.

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Ascanio in Alba – Venus

8 Dec

In the opera Ascanio in Alba, two people get married, and that’s the extent of the plot (which is spread over three hours), but any tension that may appear in the play occurs because the Goddess Venus (Venere) keeps the lovers superficially at bay! In the final photo, you can barely make out the dress worn by Venus (the one with the golden apple), but I’m going to show you what we made here, because otherwise no one will ever know!

Ascanio in Alba, Act 2 by Tyson Vick

Ascanio in Alba, Act 2 by Tyson Vick

Venus

This costume was the first costume ever made for this project, and since I began taking photos before I had even learned to sew, it was my mother who made this dress directly from a Vogue Pattern! The dress is made from a knit with glitter swirls, but it drapes beautifully and looks very Greco-Roman.

Elizabeth models the dress Venus wore in my photo.

Elizabeth models the dress Venus wore in my photo.

 

The pattern used was Vogue 2881, which I think looks great, and I can highly recommend for looks, but being a Vogue pattern there’s always something indistinct or hazy in the directions.

Vogue Pattern 2881

Vogue Pattern 2881

 

Elizabeth, who you’ll see dancing around in these pictures, was the original model for Venus in a separate photoshoot from the one that was used. This set was scrapped, because as I got better and costuming and photography, I decided to develop a new concept, and shoot in a different state, and that’s why the final photo features a different beautiful model as the Goddess Venus.

 

The dress is fun an flirty, split to the thigh and hangs off of one shoulder.

The dress is fun an flirty, split to the thigh and hangs off of one shoulder.

At the point when this dress was made in my costuming and photography career, I did not know how to buy Jewelry or where to find Jewelry. I’d never even looked for it. So, when I found a second-hand candle holder that looked large and Gaudy, I bought it, broke off the lid and glued some gems to it! It’s funny to look back and realize how little I knew about costuming, but the brooch still looks okay.

The brooch was made from a candle holder.

The brooch was made from a candle holder.

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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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Idomeneo – Idamante’s Costume

10 Nov

Idomeneo is an opera about a heroic teenage boy who slays a sea monster (Opera scholars might disagree). But that is how I approached Idamante’s costume for my final photo.

The opera takes place in ancient Crete, and so I went for a Gladiator style costume for the character. I made two pieces, an arm guard and a faux-leather skirt, from my own patterns.

Idamante's Costume for my Idomeno Pictures.

Idamante’s Costume from my Idomeno Pictures seen in detail.

During the shoot, the models had a lot of fun, and you can read about it here.

This is Sparta!!!!

Bowen looking all majestic during some down time at the shoot.

I also made some little lace-up boots which you can see in these outtakes, but I honestly don’t remember doing it. My apprentice at the time, Catey, must have done most of the work.

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

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

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