Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies
As a Voice/Opera Performance major, I decided to take my love of opera and performance and familiarize myself with all of the aspects I had yet to understand: Production and Direction. Along with the creative and technical aspects, I also learned how to deal with many different emotional situations, including but not limited to being in a leadership position above my friends and peers.
My concept is as follows: produce and direct a full-length opera production in a foreign language. I decided to direct The Magic Flute in its original language because a) that was the composer’s original intent, and b) because within my opera program we are never given the opportunity to perform in a language other than English, and it is very important for voice majors to have that experience if they wish to make a career out of performing. I also wanted to test both my leadership skills, and see if I enjoyed the “thankless jobs” of this industry so that in my future if I chose to deviate from my performance career I could still choose to work within the industry.
I produced and directed an opera called Die Zauberflöte, or The Magic Flute. The plot is convoluted and fantastical, consisting of many characters and plot twists, though at its core it is about good versus evil. Composed by the famous W.A. Mozart, the opera is a singspiel (both singing and spoken line) with music performed in German and dialogue performed in English (for the purposes of my production).
The first semester of this year was the preparation - finding funding, working with my Production Assistant and costume designer, researching various professional productions, making musical cuts and dialogue revisions, auditioning and casting a full cast of characters, and prepping for rehearsals that began in February.
This semester I took over the VPA class Opera Workshop for the spring semester, added to my staff, designed the set, continued my creative input on costume and makeup design, booked rooms, finished staging and choreographing all scenes and musical numbers and oversaw my staff put everything together.
Production duties consisted of:
- putting together a staff of 8 - the Conductor/Music Director, two Assistant Directors, two Production Assistants (one first semester and one second semester), Costume Designer, Graphic Designer, and Lighting Designer.
- creating the rehearsal schedule and booking the times and rooms in which we rehearsed, and coordinating schedules of the cast, staff and orchestra
- making sure my staff was content and worked together as a cohesive unit
- making sure the cast was content and worked together as a cohesive unit
- drafting and sending all important memos and emails about the production details
- marketing the show
The process was a very tiresome, frustrating, fun and rewarding experience. I very much enjoyed having the final say in all decisions, creative and otherwise. It was definitely a great final endeavor to conclude my undergraduate career.
Traub, Gabrielle, "Directing an Opera in an Undergraduate Setting: Creating a Professional Atmosphere within the Confines of a Student Production" (2011). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 231.
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