Dido and Aeneas

Composer: Henry Purcell
Speculative Director: Richard Willacy
Speculative Set and Costume Designer: Lauren Connolly
Location Chosen: Slip 3, Historic Dockyard, Chatham
Winner of the 2016 Birmingham Opera Prize

For this project I was required to choose a location in which to set Dido and Aeneas, locate the space, and recreate it in scale model form in which to create my design. This speculative, site specific, and site responsive design was set inside a historic dockyard in Chatham.  The dockyard was modelled at 1:100 scale and created with lasercut exposed roof beams.  By taking the roof off of the structure it allowed viewers of the modelbox to see the design and the journey audiences would take through the space.

Set in the 19th Century, my design concept was created as a sculptural installation in response to the themes of sea faring, ships, fishing and directly inspired by the melting pot of the British Empire, using fishing nets and opera nets creating a nautical, dreamlike representation of the narrative, metaphorically clawing at and entangling the characters in the opera.