You are here

THELMA - A MAELSTROM FOR SURREY OPERA

With only a score and a few scribed margin notes for guidance, Christopher Cowell (Director) and Bridget Kimak (Designer) have had the delight of defining the focus and look of the new Opera.
The centre of the plot is occupied by the Maelstrom – a Viking word, coined to describe the treacherous whirlpool which lies between the Norwegian mainland and the Lofoten Islands. The word was well known to the Victorian public, following the publication of Edgar Allen Poe's poem “A descent into the Maelstrom”.
Inspired by the mystical world of the Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, Bridget Kimak's set consists of a series of simple lines suggesting the constant swirling of water, around and in which characters move. The costumes have also been conceived in a visionary style because, apart from a few archaeological remains, nobody really knows how the Vikings actually dressed.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor had obviously done some research about the Viking culture and myths before he wrote the Opera. However, there are a few incongruous details, like the devil Djaevelen sniffing snuff, which has been retained in a desire to remain faithful to the original text.
In the early 1900's when the Opera was written, it would not have been staged without numerous lavish sets (again this may be another reason why it was originally rejected). Today's audiences are more accustomed to the use of lighting effects to convey mood and atmosphere and Lighting Designer, Christopher Corner, will be using a full palette to enhance the overall production.With only a score and a few scribed margin notes for guidance, Christopher Cowell (Director) and Bridget Kimak (Designer) have had the delight of defining the focus and look of the new Opera.