Camilla Tassi

Projection Designer & Translator: Scarlatti, "Il Primo Omicidio" [Yale Voxtet]

The Yale Voxtet, under guest conductor Nicholas McGegan, prepared and performed Alessandro Scarlatti's oratorio "Il Primo Omicidio" for Sprague Hall's Morse Recital Hall at Yale University (New Haven, CT).

I had the joy of creating an English translation for the libretto's Italian text, as well as designing projections for the performance. I can't thank James Taylor and the Institute of Sacred Music enough for letting me design for one of my favorite styles of music, Italian baroque oratorio.

For the visual content, I incorporated manuscript images of Scarlatti's oratorio, as well as textures and paintings. For the paintings, I tried to focus on Italian painters of that period (from Pietro Novelli to also non-Italians such as Rubens), and, for the photography, I included naturalistic textures as well as photos of fresco textures I had taken in Mantova, Italy.

Guided by the music (overtures, interludes, shifts to B sections of da capo arias, returns of the A, key areas, tempi, etc.) the visual content was manipulated to act as a visual accompaniment (I like to jokingly call it, 'visual continuo') in a manner that kept the primary focus on the music and singers, but provided context for the scenes. At the core, oratorio is a dramatic narrative genre, and it is important to confront that in a contemporary performance space.

Sprague Hall is such a wonderful architectural venue to project onto, and I had the chance to projection map onto the space (with an affinity to the three alcoves!).

Rehearsal Photos below

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©2020 Camilla Tassi

camtassi@gmail.com

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