Journey of an Opera

Coming soon.

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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

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

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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 (10) – Cattle call: Are they sheep or what?

 The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

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Photos by Anvi Hoàng 

It is that time of year again. Early Fall semester is the second cattle call season at IU Opera Theater. What is it like? Be curious. It may not be as you think it is. Continue reading

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

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

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Drawing of the groundplan for Lady Thị Kính.

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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

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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!

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IU Opera Production (18) – Stage Director Vince Liotta to decode Lady Thị Kính (part 2 of 2)

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

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The directing and staging of an opera involve the realization of numerous complicated concepts both concrete and abstract whose genesis starts with the stage director. Before any piece of wood is cut, any piece of fabric sewn, or any brush inked, stage director is one of the very first to plunge into the work. What is the story really about? What is the best rendition of it? What should the atmosphere feel like? Etc. It is the “etc.” that intrigues any serious opera lovers. They enjoy the behind-the-scenes tour as much as they appreciate any communication the stage director is willing to ‘reveal’ before the performance. You read here first: Stage Director Vince Liotta exposing “Lady Thị Kính.”

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IU Opera Production (21) – Amazing with Less

The Tale of Lady Thị Kính Production Countdown

A scene from “La Traviata,” set design by David Higgins – Photo: IU Opera Theater

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By now, if you are not convinced that Bloomington is an  especially lovely town and IU Opera Theater a unique institution, then I have not done enough. So here is some more. Continue reading