Livietta and Tracollo

Today the Clare College Music Society performed the opera Livietta and Tracollo in their college chapel. I was there yesterday photographing their dress rehearsal. This play was originally performed during the intervals of an evening’s main opera performance as a bit of light entertainment. Dionysios Kyropoulos and his cast had translated it into English, and the story was now set in the college grounds, with references to the cherry tree outside.

I arrived half an hour early, and got a very detailed run-through of the script by Dionysios who put on a great one man show, acting out the entire play. This allowed me to prepare and better know where to stand to get the best shots.

Tracollo has abandoned Livietta (Jenny Ashworth). In order to catch him Livietta has a clever plan. She has dressed up as a man and recruited her friend Fulvia (Rosie Paul) to act as bait wearing a valuable gold chain.
Tracollo (Tristan Harkcom) is disguised as a woman, making a living as a thief.
The gold bait is working. Tracollo’s friend, the blind man (Dionysios Kyropoulos), is approaching the women.
The rehearsal took place in the early evening. The chapel’s big windows meant the stage was brightly lit. I used 1/100 seconds shutter time, but probably should have had it set a little bit faster, because there were a lot of quick movements that got blurry.
Tracollo is trapped, and Livietta reveals her identity. I’m stepping back a bit to try and capture everyone on stage.
Tracollo is in big trouble. Both Jenny and Tristan were very expressive on stage.



Tracollo is sent to prison, but eventually escapes. I like the sense of movement in this photo.
This is one of my favourite shots, I like how all the black floor tiles create lines leading to Jenny, and how she is framed by the arch behind her.
Fast forward a bit, and Livietta is pretending to be dead. Tricollo is devastated. Normally during a dress rehersal I am confined to the audience area, this time I was able to move around freely which allowed me to come in really close. I am happy with the framing, but it is Tristan’s expression that makes the shot.
Their expressions changed so quickly so I had to be on my toes. This is a composite shot, where the two frames were taken a few seconds apart. I like this kind of framing with one person facing the camera in the foreground and a second person a bit blurry in the background.
A group shot after the show with Rosie, Tristan, Dionysios and Jenny.
Before they did a debriefing we ran off to the nearby bridge to take a few shots.
Last shot of the day.

Many thanks to the cast and Katharina Clausius for inviting me to come photograph. It was very entertaining, and I had a good time. For those of you interested to learn more about this talented group, have a look at their webpage.



Livietta – Jenny Ashworth
Tracollo – Tristan Harkcom
Fulvia – Rosie Paul
Faccenda – Dionysios Kyropoulos

Violin – Nicholas Bleisch
Violin – Henry Stoll
Cello – Sophie Haynes
Double-bass – Catherine Sutherland

Production Team
Conductor & Harpsichord – David O’Shea
Director – Dionysios Kyropoulos
Producer – José Manuel Izquierdo
Company Manager – Katharina Clausius

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