IU Opera Production (2) – Lighting magic with Todd Hensley

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

lighting-0

Đông Hồ prints as an inspiration… Todd Hensley (in red shirt) at work at IU Opera Theater. © Anvi Hoàng

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

A couple of weeks before the curtains rise on the stage of IU Opera Theater premiering The Tale of Lady Thị Kính by composer and librettist PQ Phan, lighting designer Todd Hensley has been at site working hard. I had a very brief talk with him yesterday, Monday, February 3, 2014. Brief, but enough to marvel you about the lighting aspect of the show that you are going to see on stage on February 7, 8, 14 and 15. Continue reading

Advertisements

IU Opera Production (8) – Director Mark Smith and Assistant Gwen Law painting Nirvana for Lady Thị Kính

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

xuong ve-0

A corner of the ‘Nivarna’ drop for Lady Thị Kính being worked on, on the floor.

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

Photos by Anvi Hoàng 

‘A master of all trades’ is one way to describe scenic artists like Mark Smith, Director of Scenic Painting and Properties, and the Assistant, Gwen Law, at IU Opera Theater. The paint shop where they work is like a giant warehouse full of colors and textures, intensified by the fact that each object they have created for the stage is very much alive with its own story. Continue reading

Thanh-Hải: Life is so wonderful!

Portraits of Vietnamese in 21C 

thanh hai-6

Still from “Bowls and chopsticks ‘1945’” (2011), installation art. © NSAF.

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

Known as the Le Brothers Thanh-Hai, or Thanh-Hải as some of their friends call them, these twin brothers, Lê Ngọc Thanh and Lê Đức Hải, make quite a pair. They collaborate and thrive in union as the best twins can be. They talk loudly and make bold statements that could be deemed offensive to many. After a short conversation with them, one could possibly feel the ‘hate-them’ or ‘love-them’ vibe. But ultimately, their goal is to bring art to Huế people and beyond, and they are doing great at that. Their accomplishments dovetail their stories. Continue reading

IU Opera Production (9) – Set designer Erhard Rom on designing for The Tale of Lady Thị Kính

 The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

erhard rom

‘Sneak preview’ of the set for The Tale of Lady Thị Kính by Erhard Rom. Photo courtesy of Erhard Rom.

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

The House is packed. In silence, the curtains begin to roll up. The audience break into an applause. In most cases, you know what it means: it means that they are happy with what they see on stage – a beautiful set. Here foreseeing the world premiere performances of The Tale of Lady Thị Kính on February 7, 8, 14, 15 of 2014.

Once the curtains are up, one of the most excited people is the set designer. Erhard Rom talks about his design of The Tale of Lady Thị Kính. Continue reading

IU Opera Production (11) – Ken D’Eliso and Andrew Hastings building more than a house for Lady Thị Kính

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

Tk-1

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

Photos by Anvi Hoàng 

The wood shop at IU Opera Theater, where six operas are produced every year, is no less than a wonderland for children as well as curious adults alike. Things to play with are bountiful here, be it wood, plastic, foam, metal, or even bamboo. You can start unraveling the mystery in the magic and spectacles on stage that the audience enjoy so much right here in the woodshop where objects take their first shapes and sizes.

Master crafters Ken D’Eliso and Andrew Hastings man the wood shop. They build the sets before sending them off to the paint shop. Between themselves, they share sixty years of experience in theatrical building. Do not bore them with questions about building a house, ask them about building bridges and chandeliers and organs and gismos. Their stories would make you feel like you are riding a roller coaster in an idyllic back yard. Continue reading

IU Opera Production (12) – Technical Director Alissia Lauer to fly Lady Thị Kính?

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

production 15-drawing-0

Drawing of the groundplan for Lady Thị Kính.

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

Photos by Anvi Hoàng 

The paint shop is where I learn that “the colors indicate different things, like, this is a male piece of a hardware, and that is a female piece. They’ll join together.” That is the system that Technical Director Alissia Lauer has worked out with her two carpenters. For me, it is ‘sexy’ and very empowering to hear her talk about her job at IU Opera Theater. Her confidence, passion, and utmost dedication to her work make it appear so in my eyes.

There at IU Opera Theater, the building of the set for The Tale of Lady Thị Kính will be on full swing in September going strong in December. Then when the shows start rolling on February 7, 8, 14, 15 of 2014, Alissia Lauer will be on stage working with the lighting designer. I’d better catch her now. Continue reading

IU Opera Production (13) – Director Tim Stebbins and the operation of IU Opera Theater

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

The Musical Arts Center, Bloomington, IN

The Musical Arts Center, Bloomington, IN

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

It is getting really busy at IU Opera Theater. As far as The Tale of Lady Thị Kính production is concerned, set designer Erhard Rom has finished the drawings including all the technical information about the materials to use. Technical Director Alissia Lauer has gone through them and separated them into pieces for the carpenters to build. Some part of the hard design is taking shape quickly in the shop. And Mark Smith, Head of the Paint Shop, is getting his brushes ready for the soft part. The entire design is expected to be completed – built and painted, right here at Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN – by the end of October. It is only appropriate at this point to get to know the very man who is behind this big operation at IU Opera Theater, before he vanishes behind the scenes at the premieres of the show on February 7, 8, 14, 15 of 2014. Where is that, again? – Bloomington, Indiana!

Continue reading

Director Khoa Trọng Nguyễn: Untold good stories abound everywhere in Việt Nam

cropped-img_3134.jpg

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

Touched by Khoa Trọng Nguyễn’s Instant Noodle, I wanted to find out how a Vietnamese American growing up in the US could make such a realistic Vietnamese film with a wonderful sensitivity. I connected with him at the Sixth Vietnamese International Film Festival in Orange County, CA. And we finally talked at length through this E-mail interview. 

Khoa is living in Sài Gòn for the past eight years, teaching at RMIT University Vietnam there, and making films. Continue reading

IU Opera Production (14) – Colors stories in Lady Thị Kính with Costume Designer Linda Pisano

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown 

colors

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

The costume shop is one of the magical rooms at IU Opera Theater where textures and colors of fabrics are combined to create spectacles on stage. Through the artistic view of the costume designer, her vision and research, together with collaboration with and masterful craftsmanship of the artisans at the shop, we will have glowing characters for The Tale of Lady Thị Kính. Here is costume designer Linda Pisano before the performance of The Tale of Lady Thị Kính, sketching her way into the Fall pre-premiere production, getting ready for the real shows on February 7, 8, 14, 15 of 2014. Continue reading

Marcus Mạnh Cường Vũ and Friends Party Online

Portraits of Vietnamese in 21C 

YxineFF-hn

YxineFF Kick Off event in Hà Nội, April 2013 – Photo from YxineFF.com.

—– Đọc bài tiếng Việt —– 

With purely a strong passion for cinema, Marcus Mạnh Cường Vũ and a group of ten other friends created Yxine.com in 2003. It was a destination forum for cinema lovers all over the world. In 2010, wishing to elevate their game to a new level, they established Yxine Film Fest, or in brief YxineFF. As a simple explanation, it is an online film festival where the call for submission, the film submission, the selection, the screening, the viewing, the voting are all done virtually. Continue reading