More and more operas are incorporating animation and other multimedia, including Experimental Animation Program faculty member Maureen Selwood‘s latest work at the Met.
The lauded artist recently created animation for the tragic romance opera, Werther, written by French composer Jules Massenet (1842-1912) and performed by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. The show, directed by Richard Eyre, runs through March 15.
One of Massenet’s more well-known operas, the four-act work is based upon the novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
Selwood worked with video designer Wendall Harrington to create an animation of ravens in a forest of trees, “setting the tone of grief for the opening scene,” she says via email. “[The imagery] was projected on a large scrim that allowed for the stage set to be read through the action on the scrim.”
Selwood was assisted by animator Manuel Barenboim (Film/Video MFA 13), who helped composite her animation.
“It was a thrill to be a part of this production in which the lead performers were Jonas Kaufman and Sophie Koch,” says Selwood. “Jonas is considered the leading performer in opera today.”
If you can’t attend Werther, read a synopsis via the Metropolitan Opera’s website. Above are photos of Selwood’s work captured during a dress rehearsal.
Metropolitan Opera's 'Werther'
Lincoln Center, New York
Remaining performances: March 3, March 7 and March 11, 7:30 pm March 15, 2014, 1 pm