Opera props and theatrical effects
Below is a selection of opera props and theatrical effects produced by David Wilson while he was head of Opera Australia's props department at their Sydney workshop in Surry Hills. From 1992 to 2008 David produced all the props and scenery dressing for over 75 new opera productions for the company. He also designed and built specialist props and theatrical special effects for many of these productions. Some of these are described in the links below.
If you need props or theatrical effects have a talk with David first. Additional information on prop making and mould making techniques can be found at the prop and mould making page.
(Click on a thumbnail for the full-size image)
Wright Cyclone Engine
This replica of a Wright Cyclone radial aircraft engine was made for the modern opera "Madeline Lee" designed by Brian Thomson.
Extending Wing Mechanism
A wing mechanism was designed by David Wilson for the opera "Alcina" which could be extended onstage 6 metres and, when stowed, occupy a space of less than 90cm.
This breakable sword was made for the 2004 State Opera of South Australia production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. This sword could be swung about like a real one and then, at the press of a button, break in two.
Silk Flame Fireplace
This silk flame fireplace was made for the 2005 production of "La Voix Humaine".
Blood Spurting Razors
These blood spurting razors were made for the 1998 production of "Sweeney Todd" designed by Peter England.
Driveable Fiat Bambino
The 1991 production of "Rigoletto" needed a driveable Fiat Bambino on stage. One was modified so that it could be propelled by a hand crank.
Model T Van
The 2001 production of "The Elixir of Love" was set in the Australian outback and needed a practical scissor lift in a specially built Model T Ford van.
Covent Garden Lantern
The 2008 production of "My Fair Lady" opens on a market scene in Covent Garden outside St. Paul's church in London. A prop replica of the large gas lantern fitted to the front wall of St Paul's church was required to replicate the church on stage.
Large Armillary Sphere
The reference for the Atlas statue and armillary sphere in Opera Australia's 2003 production of "Otello" was a photo of an 18th century bronze statuette provided by the designer Hans Schavernoch.