9 May 2014 at 12.10pm | Comment on this article
The third animation in our Opera Shorts series is based on La traviata’s ‘Libiamo ne’ lieti calici’ or Brindisi. Created by Minhee Cho and Estelle Woo, students on the Illustration and Animation course at Kingston University, the animation was inspired by the process of Alfredo and Violetta falling in love.
‘We imagine Violetta as a very attractive woman with long hair, and so we decided to use hair as a symbol for feminine charm,’ says Minhee. ‘We want to visualize the moment the two protagonists fall in love with each other by using a unique angle. At the end, it is revealed to be Violetta’s point of view, from behind her hair.’
It took several storyboards and designs before Minhee and Estelle settled on the final idea.
‘The first step was to create the storyboard. When we had a rough design, we created an animatic to see how scene changes worked within the time frame,’ says Minhee. ‘We designed about six storyboards and artworks for each of them before we finally got what we wanted and started animating.’
Once they had the final designs, Minhee and Estelle created the visuals by hand before starting on the animation.
‘We wanted to create unique textures to strengthen the visuals and so we hand-painted them with watercolours. These textures were then scanned into Photoshop and modified to create the artwork. Once we had finished the stills, we used After Effects to animate and Premiere to edit.’
As part of Opera Shorts, the Royal Opera House invited the students to immerse themselves in what opera is and how it is made.
‘Going to an opera house and watching opera live is relatively unfamiliar to both of us, and getting the opportunity see behind-the-scenes was very interesting. Overall, it was an excellent experience from which we both learned many things.’
The Opera Shorts series is a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Kingston University. We are releasing one each Friday lunchtime on the ROH blog and the ROH YouTube channel. You may also spot one or two of these films if you come along to one of our free outdoor BP Big Screen events this summer.
View the other films in our Opera Shorts series.
What do you think of the films and which moments from opera do you think would work well as animations?