23 May 2014 at 1.17pm | Comment on this article
The Opera Shorts series is the result of a collaboration with Kingston University, during which the Royal Opera House invited a group of students to immerse themselves in opera and then create an animation.
Prior to starting work on the animation, neither Gus or Sam had seen an opera.
‘We visited the Royal Opera House to watch a rehearsal, which was an informative and inspiring experience. Both of us recognized La traviata when it was first played to us and so we were instantly drawn to it,’ says Gus. ‘However, we wanted to create an animation not just based on the piece of music, but opera as a whole. Our animation is more a celebration of the places that opera can take you than a single story.’
Gus and Sam were inspired by sound showers they saw at Oslo airport, directional speakers used to target audio without disturbing the surrounding area.
‘Sound showers have umbrella-type speakers where you can immerse yourself in a calming soundtrack to help reduce the stress and rush of a busy terminal. We really liked the idea of a portal of sound taking you to another place,’ says Gus.
As with Opera Short #4, the animation was created using a mixture of paper cut-outs and digital animation.
‘Neither of us work in animation, so this was the first time we had to tackle a brief like this. We decided to use paper cut-outs to keep it simple in appearance. We created the design of our main character and backgrounds, then cut out each individual figure in a walk cycle before animating them digitally.’
What do you think of the films and which moments from opera do you think would work well as animations?
To see more footage like this, subscribe to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:
Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture Degree Show runs from 1-6 June 2014 at the University’s Knight’s Park campus.