The Sea Monster Factory
2022-07-05

Francesca Caccini's dramatic works were lavish court productions, showcasing the vast artistic and financial resources of the Medici court in Florence. We would need a Hollywood budget to stage an analogous production complete with flying machines and complicated on-stage transformations, and the university's Student Experience Fund, which has provided the core funding for the project, doesn't run quite to that sort of grant size! Fortunately, we do have duct tape and gold spray paint, neither of which were available at the Florentine court. 

The Sea Monster Factory is therefore fully operational in the Music Annexe, and today's task was Sea Creation. Since rather a lot of sea needs to be created (27 metres, to be exact), we can only make 1/3 of it at any one time (it needs to dry in between, which seems a bit contradictory). Once the sea is created, we can move on to Alcina's magical island: you'll know it's magical (or a commercial florist's, but we're going for magical), because tulips and sunflowers are blooming at the same time. Alcina's island is ephemeral (since it's really an illusion), and thus, it also needs to be collapsible (in a hurry!). We've now solved that particular technical challenge!

In the meantime, our order of feathers has arrived, and these have been sorted into orderly piles, corresponding to various knights, on top of a piano. The knights' helmets have been rushed into production: the prototype was met with some rather suspicious snorts from a few of the horses last week, and we need to be sure that they all have time to become perfectly happy with the helmets (fortunately, most horses are rather susceptible to a bit of bribery). Bribery may also be needed for a certain little Sea Dragon...

All this Sea Monster Factory activity would not be possible without a generous grant towards costumes from the Ambache Charitable Trust, which is active in raising the profile of music by women composers.

Published by Music, University of Aberdeen

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