Camilla Tassi

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

November 19, 2018

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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