TLTs Aida has colors to dye for

Published 3:42 pm Monday, June 28, 2010

Seven sets of hands (and one set of dogs paws) were hard at work the other day dyeing 150 yards of bleached muslin into brilliant rainbow colors to be used on the set of the upcoming youth production of Aida.

Four paddling pools, huge bamboo stirrers, a water hose, rubber gloves, twenty-five pounds of salt, five pounds of washing soda, lots of Procion dyes, and about eighty feet of washing line were needed for the job, and it was all orchestrated by textile guru Christine Mariotti, who teaches textile arts for Tryon Arts and Crafts. Theres more life to a fabric thats been hand-dyed, making it look more authentic, says Mariotti.

The length of blue fabric will represent the Nile, and through the magic of theater, the river will transform before your very eyes into a tent for the Captain of the Egyptian army. The red cloth will be used for sails on the ship. Fabric dyed a vibrant purple, and another a gradation of yellows – from pale sunlight to deep ochre – will embellish the stage and backdrop the shifting scenes of the Egyptian desert.

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Elton John and Tim Rices Aida is a contemporary musical version of a grand classic – Verdis opera of the same name – and is based on a childrens book written by Leontyne Price, the soprano who was the first African-American to become a leading prima donna at the Metropolitan Opera.

Aida opens at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on July 7 with a gala party starting at 6 p.m. Tickets for the gala include gourmet food, wines and desserts. July 8 through 10 performances start at 8 p.m., and July 11, 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Tryon Little Theater Workshop located at 516 Trade St. in Tryon from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Saturday, or call 828-859-2466.