Tag Archives: Trevor Ivanich

Mozart Reimagined Launch Party

15 Sep

Mozart Reimagined, my beautiful photo book that has taken ten years to complete, is now available for purchase on Kickstarter! For 28 days you will be able to get the book for its lowest price!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/948510266/mozart-reimagined-photography-book-by-tyson-vick

On Sunday we had a launch party for the book! Many of the people who worked on the book came with their friends and family!

Setting up the room.

Setting up the room.

My friend Trevor came to help me set up some costumes and props that I built which were used in the book.

Trevor helps me set up by wearing Neptune's mask from Idomeneo.

Trevor helps me set up by wearing Neptune’s mask from Idomeneo.

 

The party was held at the Rockin’ TJ Ranch, a large event center that usually puts on weddings!

My Der Schauspieldirektor costumes were on display.

My Der Schauspieldirektor costumes were on display.

Many of my costumes from the book were available to view.

My Don Giovanni costume from the cover of the book was on display.

My Don Giovanni costume from the cover of the book was on display.

It was a bit like museum displays!

My Amphitrite gown from my Idomeneo shoot.

My Amphitrite gown from my Idomeneo shoot.

The costumes each had their own pedestal for guests to walk around.

Tamiri's gown from Il Re Pastore.

Tamiri’s gown from Il Re Pastore.

A few props were scattered at the feet of the mannequins.

Ilia's costume from Idomeneo.

Ilia’s costume from Idomeneo.

We had large TVs displaying the photos at the back of the room.

Judith's costume with a severed head on display.

Judith’s costume with a severed head on display.

 

The event planner gave us a full 8 course Rococo feast, the style that would have been put on in Mozart’s day. There was a meat course from every type of game; beef, chicken, fish, ham.

We put on a feast for 55 people.

We put on a feast for 55 people.

Many of the guests were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food they were being given! Lol.

Mozart Reimagined guests having an 8 course meal.

Mozart Reimagined guests having an 8 course meal.

At the end of the night, we looked at the books together and I signed them.

Here are all the models holding the book open to one single page for our friend who couldn't make it!

Here are all the models holding the book open to one single page for our friend who couldn’t make it!

 

Our book is launched on Kickstarter, but there are only 28 days to get your copy! Help us bring this book to publication!

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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.

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!

My Photography in Kismet Magazine #19, US, “One Day”

31 Mar

Tomorrow I set off to take my Mitridate pictures, but today my photography has been featured in the latest issue of Kismet Magazine #19, US edition!

Kismet is a free online green magazine, and has a digital format. They have featured my work previously, and in this issue both Roman and Trevor rock the editorial “One Day”.

Trevor Ivanich in my editorial "One Day" from Kismet #19, US Edition. Tyson Vick Photography.

The boys were photographed wearing white in these really cool cement corridors that I came across in the area.  I think both guys look really cool.

Roman Fisher, shirt majestically blowing in the wind, in my editorial "One Day" from Kismet #19, US Edition. Tyson Vick Photography.

Trevor’s pic (bel0w) is featured as the Kismet homepage background this month (April 2012), as well as on the cover of the Netherlands issue, which is pretty cool. Seein’ his big old head takin’ over the page. Loves it.

Trevor Ivanich, rollin' around in the dirt, in my editorial "One Day" from Kismet #19, US Edition. Tyson Vick Photography.

The spread features five images, and if you want to see them all, please feel free to visit the issue online, or come join me on Facebook for all my latest work and updates!

The Cover of Kismet #19 which features my latest work. Click on the picture to visit the issue!

Mitridate – About Mozart’s Opera

19 Mar

Mitridate, Re di Ponto – Dec. 26, 1770.

Mitridate was written when Mozart was around fifteen years old in 1770. This is interesting to keep in mind while enjoying the opera, because many of the themes and characters that the teenage Mozart chooses to emphasize through his music reflect this fact. His music gains strength and momentum every time he deals with the emotions teenagers understand best.

The play was written by Vittorio Santi and adapted from a tragedy by Jean Racine. The opera is a traditional Opera Seria, which is an opera in which each character takes turns singing a single aria alone, wherein they comment on the plot and how they feel about it, often through vivid (though sometimes fairly lame) poetry. Ensembles are rare, and usually occur at the end of acts.

This is the original title page to Mozart’s Mitridate libretto.

Mitridate tells the story of the monarch of Pontus who is off at war against Pompey the Great. His two teenage sons, Sifare and Farnace, who have been left behind to guard their nation’s cities, have both fallen in love with their Father’s new bride, Aspasia.

Aspasia is terrified of Farnace, due to his passionate advances, and she hires Sifare to protect her. Sifare and Aspasia then fall in love just about the time Mitridate returns from battle. The King is accompanied by Farnace’s own betrothed, Ismene.

A Roman Tribune, Marzio, has befriended the bad son Farnace and means to turn him against his own country to allow the Roman conquest of Pontus.

When Mitridate and Ismene sort out what is going on, the King sentences both his sons and Aspasia to death. Just as Aspasia is about to be poisoned, the Romans invade the country, and Mitridate hastens to battle.

Ismene sets Sifare free just in time to join the fight.

Marzio storms the prison and frees Farnace, hoping he will betray his country, but instead the boy betrays the Romans and sets fire to their fleet.

Mitridate is defeated in battle and commits suicide, and as he lays dying he forgives his sons and fiancee. Aspasia, Sifare, Ismene and Farnace then vow to protect their country from any who would rob them of their freedom.

A close up of my image of Farnace. Mitridate, Act III by Tyson Vick, detail.

It is interesting to note that Mozart manages to give the title character, Mitridate, a unique musical voice that stands out clearly from all the rest. The character Mitridate’s music involves no coloratura or difficult embellishments like that of the other roles. This was due mainly to the original actors’ capabilities. He couldn’t perform the intense coloratura passages, but had a perfect pitch that could make use of large octave leaps. Mitridate’s distinct voice was then coupled with solid musical pacing. He has few or no touches of pathos, his tyranny reigning supreme. This is in total contrast to the rest of the cast who have arias that span the broad range of human emotions. Essentially, the unique voice devised by Mozart puts Mitridate apart from the rest of the cast and specifies him as the title character, which is stunningly creative approach.

Santi’s dramatic focus is firmly situated around the characters of Sifare and Aspasia, who would be played by the two romantic leads, with the lead antagonist (and lead character) being that of Mitridate himself. However, Mozart redirects the focus, through music, towards Farnace, giving him both some of the best and most dramatically engaging music in the opera. Farnace is the embodiment of all the mood swings and yearnings that come with being a teenager. When you consider what holds a teenage boy’s interest, these things are all present in Farnace. He is lusty, belligerent, violent and selfish. Farnace’s backstabbing tirade against his brother, his anger at his sexual advances being denied by Aspasia, and especially his lament at the end where his shame overcomes him and he repents, all reflect such universal truths from the lives of young men that it’s no wonder the teenage Mozart found the character’s musical voice so clearly.

On the other hand, with the very adult pathos behind Sifare and Mitridate’s love for Aspasia, and the emotional torment Aspasia goes through because of it, Mozart uses both melody and vocal agility to capture the emotions, rather than the clever emotional painting with which he would later become a master. Where his later operas would combine both pyrotechnics with this emotional painting, his earlier operas tend to use more of the pyrotechnics. Mozart’s genius was well ahead of his life-experience, and expecting a fifteen year old boy to be able to capture all the wild ups and downs of love, the horrors of betrayal, and emotional yearnings of both men and women already fully developed is just a little absurd, even though these are the main themes of Santi’s Mitridate.

Because Mitridate is entirely composed of show-off arias, there isn’t an aria that doesn’t test the limits of the human voice. Wild lines of coloratura, huge octave leaps and scales up and down the entire vocal range are featured in nearly every song – with occasional breaks for long legato phrases. This is particularly true of Aspasia. Originally, the young Mozart began to write music for the lead actress before having 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 Mozart’s music that she scrapped what Mozart had already written for her and worked together with him 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) which may be one of the finest, most thrilling arias ever to open an opera seria.

At this point in his career Mozart was still following rules instead of making them, for as we know, the young man decided to start making up his own rules a few years down the line. So, while his genius is still young, Mozart presents us with a wildly entertaining opera about a tyrant King, his two belligerent sons, a tormented queen and a foreign Princess who wanders around wondering what the crap is going on.

My Photography in KISMET Magazine #15, US

1 Aug

I have some photography news, rather than some Mozart Project news this month. My photo editorial “Montana” has been featured in KISMET Magazine #15 US edition. The magazine also includes a brief bio on my photographic work. (The bio picture actually shows me working on Mozart Project!)

The model from this set is Roman who has participated in numerous photos from my Mozart project. You can view Roman’s own blog here, and his post about this shoot features more of the photos, so take a look!

Here are a few shots from the Magazine:

Roman Fisher in the fields around Bozeman. From my "Montana" Editorial featured in KISMET Magazine #15, US version.

Roman Fisher at Palisade Falls. From my "Montana" Editorial featured in KISMET Magazine #15, US version.

Roman at Hyalite falls. From my "Montana" Editorial featured in KISMET Magazine #15, US version.

Roman at Quake Lake. From my "Montana" Editorial featured in KISMET Magazine #15, US version.

If you would like to see the rest of my photos and read the bio, visit KISMET Magazine #15!

KISMET Magazine #15, US edition. Visit the Magazine to view my "Montana" editorial!

Mitridate – Illustrating an Opera, Part 5

19 Feb

For the past four weeks, I have shared the process that goes into taking a single Mozart Project photo. The picture that I have been describing is the illustration to Mitridate, Act III, which is the most well documented photograph that I have taken.

If you would like to catch up, Part 1 discusses the opera, music and design for the photograph. Part 2 tells about my trip to photograph the model. Part 3 shows various shots which were needed to make a composite image. Part 4 describes how I designed and created a Prison Tower in Miniature for the photograph.

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.

In this fifth post, I will share with you how I used all these images to make a final composite image.

Final Composite

Now, as a warning to my more sensitive readers, the curtain will be lifted, and all the mystery of this image will disappear once you learn how it is composited. You may die a little on the inside. So, if keeping the mystery alive is important to you, please, go no further.

Beware. Beware!

Trevor Ivanich as Farnace

This is the original image of Trevor Ivanich used in the composition.

Once all of my images are collected, I begin to edit them, and put them together in a digital composite. I use a program called Corel, which is like Photoshop, however where Photoshop is an all-encompassing graphics program, Corel has gradually become more focused on re-creating artistic mediums (Paints, Pencils, Brushes).

Once I have scanned the image, I give it any necessary touch-ups. These can include removing blemishes from the model, removing scratches and dust from the film, adding highlights, correcting colors, etc. Next, I cut the image out of its original background.

Trevor removed from Background

Here is Trevor, revomed from his background to be placed in the composite image.

Now, I am ready to composite.

The first thing I do is create a digital “mock-up” of the image I want to make.

Using crude cutting and pasting methods, I create a little collage with all the elements I am considering. With Mitridate, I made one mock-up with the picture of Trevor, the model, when it was first edited, and I drew solid shapes in roughly where I wanted to place background elements.

After I had photographed the Tower and wall, I made a second mock-up. During this process, I look for a natural and attractive composition of the elements.

Mitridate Mock-ups

Two Mock-up Images. The first has a background drawn in. The second has the photographic elements roughed in. Originally, I was thinking of putting boats in the harbor.

While I do build the background and foreground separately in the computer, I also add them together and adjust the elements after every little change I make. For example, I put Farnace in the picture, then I add the wall behind him. I adjust the wall and the character until they are in a good place. Then, I remove Farnace to edit the wall. These edits can include re-sizing and re-coloring, as well as adding grain.

I do this until all the elements match up, and I am pleased with the result. Sometimes I have to take some time away from the image, not looking at it, to return to it fresh and see where any issues may lie.

Mitridate Act III composite Images.

Composite of Sky and Water
This is the farthest background part of the composite. The sky, the water and the tower have been combined, color matched, matched for grain, blurred, etc.
Tower added to sky and water

The next layer is off the birds flying out of the prison tower. This image has also been matched for light, grain, color, etc. The reason there is a blank spot in the corner is because that part of the image will be covered by the wall, and so there’s no point in putting anything there.

Broken wall added to Background

Next, the Broken Wall in the foreground is added. All these elements are built around each other to yield an attractive composition.

Mitridate Act 3 by Tyson Vick

Finally, Trevor (as Farnace) is situated in the photo. Like the others, he is matched to the light, the grain and the color. Now the photo is complete.

So, now the image has gone from the text of one man’s play, to the operatic setting of another man’s music; From the interpretation of one listener’s imagination, to the execution of this idea in real life. Which, hopefully, will interest somebody else in returning to the original play, and the whole process will start again, as our lives are connected by music, drama, emotional truth, friendship, adventure and life!

Mitridate Libretto, Sketch, Photo

The original title page to the Mitridate Libretto which inspired my Farnace sketch which was brought to life by Trevor Ivanich in my Photograph!

My ultimate goal with this project, when it is finished, is to share the joy I have experienced through the music of Mozart!

Again, here is the song which my photograph illustrates, to complete my post  “Mitridate – Illustrating an Opera”. Thanks for reading!