Friday, July 20, 2007

Opera in a Box

Another trend in opera productions is opera in a box, possibly a subset of minimalism. The sides and back are just flat surfaces facing in toward the stage like three sides of a box.

Pamela Rosenberg's food fight Hansel and Gretel was one of these. The sides were narrower at the back. It worked fine when the scene was indoors, but made no sense when the children were in the woods.

This Manon Lescaut from Glyndebourne is one of these. All of the undecorated surfaces are gold color.

Eugene Onegin from the Met simulcasts was one. Leaves and furniture were the only decorations.

L'Anima del Filisofo from Zurich a few years ago was one. The stage was steeply raked, and on the sides and in the floor were windows where heads peeked out.

La Calisto is one. The three walls are painted sky blue with white clouds. Hidden in these walls are windows and stage machinery.

Iphegenie en Tauride is one.

Assuming that stage scenery is designed through mockups, you could design your set in a shoe box. Open up one of the sides and start. Put a rock under to rake it. It's an annoying trend.

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