(Close Window)
Topic: Unique performance
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 19, 2005 09:40AM)
Hey everyone!

I'm a music education major with a concentration in voice at Ithaca College and I've been toying around with an idea for a senior recital (which would be in a couple of years). I want to incorporate some stage magic in a themed recital about "Myth and Magic". The first half would feature selections from classical repertoire involving greek or roman myths. The second half would include classical repertoire as well as some musical theater selections on the topic of magic.

The problem I'm having is, I need to think of some illusions that I could perform during instrumental interludes or while I'm actually singing. Also I haven't really performed a lot of stage illusions, and therefore would have to purchase everything (and practice practice practice). One of the illusions I really want to do is Metamorphosis. I know the method, but can anyone point me in the right direction as far as performance notes/tips and props for this illusion.

Another potential problem is that depending on the venue, there might be angle issues. A lot of the recital halls have the audience seated stadium style with the stage on the floor, lending itself to be top-angle heavy. I will do myself to try and book this in one of the level-angled halls.

Please let me know what you think of this idea and/or any illusions you think would work well for this situation (as well as where I can acquire such illusions). Thanks a bunch!

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Caveat Lector (Jul 19, 2005 10:39AM)
I would think that a sub trunk while singing would pose its own problems in itself. Unless you decided to stop singing during the time you were performing certain parts of it. You might want to look into maybe a thin model sawing. I think you should take a look at http://www.magicauction.com/Mag_auc/index.html. Look on the different illusion pages. You might see something their that sparks your interest.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jul 19, 2005 11:15AM)
Hey Eric,

I was a music performance major in voice at Fresno State back in the 80's and though I never combined magic with my singing, I always had an idea rolling in my head about an old gramaphone record player that changed into a singer. I thought the record player could be covered and the change in sound would signal that transformation. You could do it fairly easily with a modern cabinet and a gramaphone that worked like the old vanishing lamp...

Well, now you got me thinking, so I'll let you know if I come up with anything else :)

Message: Posted by: NFox (Jul 19, 2005 12:53PM)
The idea of singing while perfoming is a great one. And while I don't have any ideas as to particualr illusions (at the moment), I just thought I'd let you know that what you want to do is not impossible. There is at least one illusionist, Darren Romeo, who has used this to great success. His website can be found at: http://www.darrenromeo.com/index2.htm . Maybe it could give you some ideas to see what someone else is doing.

Nick Fox
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Jul 20, 2005 09:48AM)
I don't think you should limit yourself to stage illusions. For example, one of the ideas I've had for years (but never acted upon) was singing Neil Diamond's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore" while doing a sort of "Miser's Dream" with rose buds, scattering them everywhere.

There are probably other ideas like this that would occur if we knew your song repertoire or preferences.
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 20, 2005 11:44AM)
I'll try to get my repertoire list as soon as I can. But I have plenty of time before the actual peformance (less 2 years?...but I would like to practice all the illusions thoroughly before being comfortable enough to perform them flawlessly). I have to discuss what selections I should do with my studio professor, but right now we're looking at composer like Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann, who were big on magic. And also we're looking at the musical Carnival, which has a magician (who's the bad guy).

I think the sub trunk might work too because I will have opportunities during instrumental breaks to allow time for me to perform the illusion while I'm not singing. Thanks for your help everyone!

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jul 20, 2005 12:56PM)
I've been trying to add a little magic to my shows throughout the years. I saw Derren Romeo and I wasn't too impressed although that was a while back and I hear that he's doing great right now. Zig Zag?
Message: Posted by: jbrandt (Jul 20, 2005 02:32PM)
I think it would look cool to see someone singing while performing Steinmeyer's Modern Art. If you're unfamiliar, that is a one person illusion where the performer cuts him/herself in half. To see a person in half while they can still sing would be weird. However, I'm not sure if you would be able to sing while doing that illusion... I've never tried.

- Jared
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jul 20, 2005 08:21PM)
If you're doing anything from Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream" then you definitely need some Wizard style magic which should cut down on your costs (we're big on cheapness!).

These would also work with pieces like Schubert's "Erlkönig" or "Ständchen."
You didn't mention Mozart, but "Die Zauberflöte" has some arias that could be set to magic. I'm not up on Schumann's lieder so I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 24, 2005 05:48PM)
Thanks a lot of the help guys!

Spellbinder, you seem to be very knowledgable in classical music. That is awesome! I greatly appreciate that! Would you suggest any particular illusions to do during this performance that are either cheap to buy or chep to build?

Thanks a lot,
Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Jazz (Jul 25, 2005 11:59PM)
If you are targeting "big" illusions, I guess you should start on deciding if you are going to perform the illusions on yourself or on an assistant. If you are going to be in the actual illusion, then I guess it would rule out any illusion where your face is covered even for an instant. For example the sub-trunk or a vanishing. I guess it would present logistic problems with the audio. Illusions with clear look at your face (and hence your mouth for singing) at all times, would work best. Modern Art and Zig-Zag as suggested before would work great. Now if you will perform the illusion on an assistant, then that changes everything...

Classical music and big illusions have gone together for a long time. Good luck and keep us posted.
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (May 10, 2006 06:58PM)
Here's an update after being away for a year (I was extremely busy with my junior year of college) As of right now, I am still hoping to do this magic recital in the spring of 2007. This gives me a little less than a year to prepare. Ideas for songs are still coming but are coming very slowly. Repertoire for the "Myth" part of my show will be easy enough to find because this is a subject matter that was written plentifully for in the classical tradition.

The "Magic" repertoire however is still giving me difficulties. I've turned to some musical theater selections, but am still researching bari/tenor arias and art songs that are about magicians or magical themes. The confirmed songs thus far are:

"My Name is John Wellington Wells" from the Sorcerer by G&S
"This is my box" from Amahl and the Night Visitors by Menotti
"A Sword, and A Rose, and A Cape" from Carnival by Merrill

Unfortunately Doug Henning did not sing for his Broadway musical "The Magic Show", because the two songs by the old retired magician do not speak of magic at all. Lemme know if you have any ideas for magical songs.

As for magic illusions during the recital, I have decided to mostly work alone without the aid of an assistant (except for some specific effects). I figure I could do a lot of cut and restored rope tricks, as well as some scarves and billiard ball vanishes/manipulations. Also I was thinking the Zombie might be a nice touch and even the Snowstorm. The two bigger illusions I'd like to do would require an assistant and those would be the Arash Levitation (similar to the one in Henning's "The Magic Show" and the Metamorphosis. Also Henning's Water Levitation is gorgeous and I was thinking about possibly stealin' and idea like that as a tribute :)

Anyway, let me know what you think and please keep the suggestions coming. Thanks!

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: revlovejoy (May 10, 2006 08:51PM)
On 2005-07-20 15:32, jbrandt wrote:
I think it would look cool to see someone singing while performing Steinmeyer's Modern Art. If you're unfamiliar, that is a one person illusion where the performer cuts him/herself in half. To see a person in half while they can still sing would be weird. However, I'm not sure if you would be able to sing while doing that illusion... I've never tried.

- Jared

I'm sure this would not fit with the actual repertoire, but this immediately conjured up an image in my head of Modern Art and the music is Stone Temple Pilots' "Half the Man I Used To Be."