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Cordingley, A. (2023). [Costume Design] Idomeneo. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giambattista Varesco. Directed by Lindy Hume. Victorian Opera, Melbourne, 2023.

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posted on 2024-06-18, 00:08 authored by ANNA CORDINGLEYANNA CORDINGLEY
This first iteration of Idonemeo, directed by Lindy Hume with Costume Design by Anna Cordingley, contemporises Mozart's early opera, placing post-traumatic stress behaviours at the heart of its protagonist. It explores the callous inevitability of the natural world as adjacent to magical antagonists. Original footage from the coastlines of Tasmania engulfs the reclaimed stage space for the duration of the opera, enabling sharpness of contemporary line, silhouette and the invitation to throw accents of magical realism betwixt the picture. With sustainability an explicit goal for this works' creation, the full opera chorus is dressed in second-use clothing and recycled garments, something unusual for the artform at this scale. The contribution this work makes to staging practices in Australia is significant: its inherent violence is reflected via a feminist prism and its aesthetical sharpness allows the music to resonate to 2023-4 audiences. Programmed in the 2023 Victorian Opera season at St Kilda's Palais, it marked a landmark collaboration between national opera companies Opera Australia and Victorian Opera. Its high impact and significance are evidenced in its reception: Idomeneo won the 2023 Greenroom Award for Best Production, delivered a second, impactful season with a Sydney cast in 2023-4 and has been purchased by San Francisco Opera in California to recreate in their 2025 season with an American cast.

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NTRO Output Type

  • Original Creative Work

NTRO Output Category

  • Original Creative Work : Design / architectural Work

Place

Melbourne, Australia

Venue

The Palais Theatre, St Kilda

NTRO Publisher

Victorian Opera

Medium

Live Performance Costume Design

Research Statement

Idomeneo, one of Mozart's less commonly performed operas, is here examined for its contemporary potency and relevance. Our creative research explores the substitution of the libretto's classical myth structures for the natural environment in search of pertinent, current and urgent analogy. The contribution this work makes to staging practices in Australia is significant: for a work of profound violence, it is re-established via a feminist prism and its aesthetical sharpness allows the music to resonate to 2023-4 audiences. With sustainability an explicit goal for this works' creation, the full opera chorus is dressed in second-use clothing and recycled garments, something unusual for the artform at this scale. Programmed in the 2023 Victorian Opera season at St Kilda's Palais, it marked a landmark collaboration between national opera companies Opera Australia and Victorian Opera. Its high impact and significance are evidenced in its reception: Idomeneo won the 2023 Greenroom Award for Best Production, delivered a second, impactful season with a Sydney cast in 2023-4 and has been purchased by San Francisco Opera in California to recreate in their 2025 season with an American cast.

Size or Duration of Work

Major Main Stage Season, Approximately 3 hours, including one interval.

Affiliation

Anna Cordingley, University of Melbourne

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