Sleeping Beauty

Client: The Victorian Opera

Date: 2017

Twenty-seven individual puppets were designed and built for Opera Australia’s reinvention of Ottorinoa Respighi’s Sleeping Beauty. The opera was originally written in 1922 for an Italian puppetry company, which used marionette puppets to bring the story to life. 

We created ethereal, whimsical foam and latex puppets which included a variety of construction techniques from small rod puppets, to life-size hand puppets to the large stilted suit puppets of the tree woodsman and the giant spider. 

The haunting faces were individually sculpted, and we used opulent fabrics and jewelled accessories for the detail heavy costumes. Designed to emulate a dark fairy tale, twisted but enchanting and appealing to all ages, including children. 

The Sleeping Beauty received rave reviews and performed at the Melbourne Arts Centre and The Royal Theatre in Tasmania as part of the Dark MoFo Festival to sold out crowds. The puppets were nominated for a Green Room award, Melbourne’s premier performing arts industry awards, for puppet design.

Arts Hub – Opera made spectacular by Joe Blanck’s superb puppets
SMH – Victorian Opera’s Sleeping Beauty
Limelight Magazine – Sleeping Beauty Review