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At Opera Atelier, we take the imaging of the company very seriously. This being said, a five hour shoot involving seven naked people and little more than thousands of fall leaves to ensure a sense of modesty requires a sense of humour.

We thought it would be interesting to give our friends a behind-the-scenes look at our beautiful Alcina image. It gives you an idea of the sort of magic that is worked by photographer Bruce Zinger, and all of our artists and creative team.


Alcina’s “dress of leaves” under construction following two days of building.


Our Alcina image photographed from the wings. Even from this angle it is still strangely beautiful. Our debt to Caravaggio is particularly obvious.


The day before our shoot OA Resident Set Designer Gerard Gauci called me. He had just read a quote from Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, which at once made him think of the atmosphere we hoped to achieve at our shoot the next day. The quote also encapsulated the drama that drives the opera itself:

In Swann’s Way, the narrator explains the Celtic belief that the souls of those we have lost are held captive in some lesser being, in an animal, a vegetable, an in-animate object, in effect lost to us until the day, which for some of us never comes, when we find ourselves walking near a tree and it dawns on us that this object is their prison. The souls shudder, they call out to us; and as soon as we have heard them, the spell is broken. Liberated by us, they triumph over death, and come to live among us once again.

Thanks for following our image story.

– Marshall

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