26 April 2008

The Fantastic World of Edvard Mordake

two painted roomscapes which will form Mordake's bedroom
Mordake, Erling Wold's latest opera, tells the story of the 19th century aristocrat, Edvard Mordake, who was driven mad by his twin sister - a female face on the back of his own head.
I was asked to help visualize the setting- a suite of rooms fit for a Victorian gentleman.

I found plenty of inspiration at Richard Reutlinger's lovingly restored Victorian house in San Francisco, especially in the master bedroom, which features a Dresser-inspired frieze painted by my late friend and mentor, Larry Boyce.
I photographed some rooms, and made a Thurber-esque line drawing, as well as a simplified gouache painting of the bedroom (above) which are all to be computer- modified by Erling and German visual artist Freider Weiß, and then projected on stage to create Edvard's world. The large mirror I left blank, as they will be adding some invented reflections there. The set will alternate between photos, video, drawings, and paintings, to create varying levels of reality and fantasy.
And I hope Larry won't mind that in making my paintings of this room, I filled in his rather glaring persian flaw, so as to leave room for some of my own.

Mordake by Erling Wold, a solo performance with tenor John Duykers, premiers May 22 and runs through June 7, 2008
as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival

More information and musings on this subject can be found on Erling's blog.

Mordake is featured on the cover of Theater Bay Area this month!

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