Il Trovatore (2003)

Opera Company of Philadelphia • October 3, 5, 10, 12, 15, 18, 21, 2003 at the Academy of Music

Scenic, Lighting and Projection Design: Boyd OstroffDirector: Kay Walker CastaldoCostume Design: Richard St. ClairHair and Makeup Design: Tom WatsonConductor: Maurizio Barbacini

Ferrando: Arthur Woodley • Leonora: Patricia Racette • Ines: Julie-Ann Whitley • Count di Luna: Gregg Baker • Manrico: Viktor Afanasenko • Azucena: Barbara Dever • Ruiz: Glenn Alamilla

trovatore2003_header“It is good to see the Opera Company of Philadelphia take some chances in repertoire and production choices, as it has done so increasingly in the last few seasons, but it is even more rewarding to witness a real jelling of OCP’s artistic vision in a mainstream work. In the luminous Il trovatore that opens this season, a distinct sense of style can be detected that links this production to previous OCP successes. The formula centers around the cultivation of relationships with fine young singing actors and elegant, minimalist stagings.

At the heart of this distinctiveness is the team of director Kay Walker Castaldo and Boyd Ostroff, previously known as the lighting designer, but now, by virtue of his enlarged tool box, officially known as the director of design and technology. Almost all of the scenery for this Il trovatore derives from lighting effects and projected imagery. Ostroff paints the stage in bold, broad strokes, with a keen sense for the emotional impact of differing colors.” – Peter Burwasser, Philadelphia City Paper, 10/9/2003

“At key moments, diaphanous video projections light up a scrim between the Academy of Music audience and the singers, contributing a mood or a thought to the action on stage. Much of the footage is of nothing more than one of the characters standing on a windy beach (shot on digital video at the Jersey Shore by director of design and technology Boyd Ostroff). But looming large, the images give the audience otherwise rare glimpses of facial expressions. Elsewhere, large flames appear to lick the entire stage as Dever implodes. The idea is a smart one, but only because the polish of the video work is so high.” – Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/7/2003

“For the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s season opener, the company has further expanded its level of production. In an imaginative approach to staging the eight separate scenes, director Kay Walker Castaldo and scenic design wizard Boyd Ostroff have created sets embellished with state-of-the-art digital projections and Ostroff’s intricate lighting design.” – Tom Di Nardo, Philadelphia Daily News, 10/3/2003


Design Evolution – Spring 2001



Design Evolution – Winter 2002



Design Evolution  – Spring 2003



Final Design Sketches



Stills From Preliminary Animation Sequences



Location Video Stills – Summer 2003



Location Video Stills 9/9/2003



Stills From Final Video Projections



Production Photos



Design and Technical Drawings



“The Trovatore Project” – Video Projection Tests on 1/30/2003



trovatore2003_programProduction Staff

Director of Design and Technology: Boyd Ostroff • Production Manager: Gregory S. Prioleau • Props Coordinator: Cindy Felice • Staff Scenic Artist: Vanessa Fenton • Lighting Coordinator: Andrew Billiau • Costume Director: Richard St. Clair • Production Stage Manager: Jennifer Hammontree • Stage Manager: Jill Hermes • Asst Stage Managers: Elizabeth Ashby Baldock, Lauren Regester

Asst Scenic Designer: Vanessa Fenton • Asst Lighting Designers: Andrew Billiau, Shelley Hicklin • Asst Director: Susan Lambert

Technical Director: John Callahan • Properties Master: Paul Lodes • Master Electrician: Dennis Moore, Jr • Asst Electrician: William Hennessy • Flyman: Timothy Callahan

Shop Carpenters: John Callahan, Paul Lodes, John Damiani, Vincent Morsillo, John Gilroy, Timothy Callahan, Thomas Bowen, Doug McBrearty, James Hughes

Props Artists: Gina Unander, Christie Whisman, Jonanna Dinella, Karyn Gerred, Kathryn Kolb, Susan Grossman, Hannah Stricklin, Natalya Sapershteyn

Scenic Artists: Vanessa Fenton (Charge), Sarah Baptist, Hannah Price, Leslie Curd, Kathryn Noska, Christie Whisman, Michiko Tanaka, Karen Bernhardt


Scenery Data

  • Built Aug-Sep, 2003 at the Opera Company of Philadelphia Production Center / Frankford Arsenal
  • Scenery construction budget: $167,441 • Actual cost: $167,676
  • Load-in crew: 18 • Run Crew: 18  (carpenters, flymen and props only) • 12 hours required for load-in • 1 truck required for shipping
  • This was the first use of video projection in an Opera Company of Philadelphia production
  • Video projectors: Two Barco SLM-R12 “Director”, Digital Micromirror Device with 1280×1024 native resolution and 12,000 lumen output
  • Second projector was only used as a backup
  • Total rental cost for projectors, playback decks and support equipment from Scharff-Weisberg was $50,000 for the period September 24 – October 21. 2003
  • Video was rendered as 480p widescreen and played a from Doremi hard drive DV recorder
  • Primary projection surface was a 30′ x 50′ white scrim
  • This opera was presented in rotating repertory with Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah
  • This production no longer exists



Il Trovatore on YouTube (videography by Boyd Ostroff for the Opera Company of Philadelphia)


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