I had the immense joy to be brought on board for Apollo's Fire's touring, semi-staged, production of Monteverdi's opera L'Orfeo.
The production was performed in three states, in the cities of Cleveland, Bay Village, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, and Sonoma. It was a wonderful challenge and treat to adapt the production for the diverse halls we presented it in - to name a few, Ann Arbor's Hill Auditorium, Cleveland Institute of Music's Kulas Hall, Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, and Sonoma's Green Hill Music Center.
Being part of the collaborative process was an unforgettable experience - Jeannette Sorrell's leadership and artistry, as well as the investment of the instrumentalists and vocalists, is really unparalleled in this repertoire. Sophie Daneman (Les Arts Florissant) was the stage director for the project and beautifully involved everyone as part of the action and narrative. I was particularly impressed with how the chorus felt integrated in the scenes. And who can fail to mention Rene Schiffer's reconstruction of the Baccante ending text!
I've seen various productions of Orfeo, and none made me empathize with the character of Orpheus more than this one, Karim was genuine and expressive. During the first orchestral rehearsal, upon hearing the opening Toccata, I couldn't help but cry - it was such a joy and privilege to hear the music being played so beautifully and by people that dedicated themselves to it. I loved designing for this work, and for the first project that incorporated projections for the ensemble. I'm going to treasure the friendships made and thank the group for allowing me to combine my love of early Italian repertoire and projection!
"Camilla Tassi’s projections and Cassie Goldbach’s lighting gave the opera extra depth, especially tiny details like the virtual smoke moving across the underworld painting."
- Cleveland Classical
"...projections designed by assistant director Camilla Tassi, reflected these aspects of the opera and made considerable dramatic impact with minimal materials."
- San Francisco Classical Voice
"...Several projections were photographs taken by Tassi inside the Palazzo di Mantova (Mantua), where L’Orfeo was first performed for the ducal court. The paintings were sometimes modified for dramatic effect, such as the removal of Euridice from Corot’s “Orpheus leading Euridice from Hades...” - San Francisco Classical Voice
Photos by Mark Nelson of the Berkeley performance are shown below: