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Applied Color: From Studio to Stage


Applied Color: From Studio to Stage

Presented by Amy van Every Saturday, March 31, 2018, 10 am Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Admission: Free for current members of the TAC; $5 for students and members of FAMSF; $10 General Admission

Amy van Every’s lecture will take you behind the scenes to look at San Francisco Opera’s dye department. Applied color for theater is subject to many variables, starting with the design of a show, the various fabrics, the cut of garments, fittings, timelines, and budget constraints that might affect the process. This many-layered approach includes flat dyeing, ombreing, and direct applications through hand painting, stenciling, airbrushing and combinations of all. Amy works with five different dye types and many different painting colorants. Frequently fabrics will start in the dye department before they go to the workroom where they take form. Depending on the production, many costumes return to the dye studio for shading, ageing, distressing and all the finishing touches that enhance character. The lecture will include in process studio shots and professional photos of costumes once they are realized and on stage.

San Francisco Opera Costume department is located on Van Ness Avenue in adjacent to the Opera House. This facility employs approximately thirty-eight people on a full time seasonal basis. Teams include drapers and their stitching teams, a milliner, a costume crafts artisan, a painter/dyer, a shoe specialist, and supervisors and production coordinators. During the course of a season the costume shop builds or re-mounts costumes for all main stage productions, functions as a rental house and contracts in work from other Opera Companies if the schedule allows.

Amy van Every’s career as a colorist started before she graduated from University of Oregon with a BFA in textiles. Her employment as lead painter/dyer San Francisco Opera began in 1985 after working at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Her tenure at San Francisco Opera has spanned more than thirty years, and 300 productions. Amy has worked for other production companies including Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She has worked in interiors, film and television.


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