3D printed masks for Wagners Lohengrin

At the start of the year 2015 Scenography student Brenda van Geffen spoke with Caecilia Thunnissen (Stage Director Opera and Music Theatre) about possibilities to visually expand Ortrudes ‘black magic’ and her influence on the other characters in Wagners Lohengrin. After a long period of research for form and material this eventually resulted in fifteen identical 3D printed masks of the face of soprano Katarina Dalayman. To realise the cloning the Swedish soloist had to go to London for a 360 degree head scan. The scan has been shaped and printed in the Netherlands.

The masks that represent clones of the character Ortrude were used during concerts on 18 and 20 December 2015 in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Extras were wearing them in loges, on the balconies and eventually at the front of the stage. During the three act opera more clones come to sight as Ortrudes influence on Elsa keeps growing till eventually Elsa asks Lohengrin (knight of the Holy Grail) the forbidden question about his identity...

In the Mise-en-Espace of Caecilia Thunnissen Elsa’s brother (Godfried, the Swan) is played by dancer Ilija Surla, who studied Modern Dance at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. For the costume of the Swan Brenda van Geffen looked for communication between being human/ animal and the divine. The neck of the Swan is made out of latex.