Verona Enviornment subs monumental units with dynamic video


VERONA, Italy (AP) — The Verona Enviornment amphitheater in northern Italy has returned to staging full operas for the primary time because the pandemic — however with one massive distinction.

The monumental units that usually fill the huge amphitheater stage have been changed by dynamic, 3D pictures broadcast on large LED screens, recreating a Sicilian village or a Fellini-esque movie backlot.

Distancing guidelines meant that stagehands transferring units needed to be restricted within the cramped backstage within the open-air Roman-era amphitheater, setting in movement a reimagining of the 98th Verona Enviornment Opera Competition.

For this season, know-how is standing in for the units for which the Enviornment is known, ones large enough to fill the huge stage and interact even viewers members sitting distant within the uppermost seats.

“We understood already final yr in November that we wanted to have one other plan, within the eventuality that we couldn’t use the large units,’’ stated the Enviornment’s normal supervisor, Cecilia Gasdia. “In any case, the Verona Enviornment is used to doing large reveals, a bit pharaonic, with nice inventive high quality.”

Deputy inventive director Stefano Trespidi tapped technical wizards at DWOK, an Italian firm specializing in superior video design that helped create La Scala’s all-virtual 2020 season premier and designed digital units for a manufacturing of “Aida” on the Sydney opera.

“They’re artists and technicians on the similar time, and that’s not simple,’’ Trespidi stated. “It is a nice innovation; improvements want time to take maintain. The method that we began in the present day we don’t know the place it’ll take us. Actually, it’ll take us ahead.”

Friday’s season-opening premiere was a double-bill of Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana” and Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” a manufacturing deliberate for the 2020 season that was by no means staged attributable to restrictions that restricted performances to live shows. The truth is, picket units for final yr’s “Cavalleria” stay unfinished on the Enviornment’s cavernous workshop on the fringe of the town, put aside for maybe a future version.

As an alternative, a Sicilian village was created on 400 sq. meters of LED screens, with projections of a hillside, a church façade and craggy buildings, all with three-dimensional depth. Transferring clouds gave the scene dynamism, whereas singers and actors moved up and down a bodily staircase and thru a foreground crammed with tables and chairs to create a central piazza.

Whereas “Cavalleria rusticana’’ was nostalgically staged in black, white and grey, the “Pagliacci’’ forged was wearing shiny technicolor costumes, towards a extra spare backdrop impressed by a Fellini movie set, and underlining the collision of actual life and theater within the opera.

The video part additionally consists of cameo imagery from Italian museums in every of the 5 new operas, together with additionally “Aida,” “Nabucco” and “La Traviata.” The collaborations, together with with the Vatican Museum, the Uffizi and Turin’s Egyptian Museum, are meant as a gesture of solidarity with one other cultural department that additionally suffered from restrictions through the pandemic.

“They discovered this glorious answer that works very properly,” stated tenor Yusif Eyvazof, who’s singing the position of Canio/Pagliaccio. “It’s actually so stunning to see, that you do not see it’s not an actual set. And the viewers can see an actual present, and never only a live performance.”

Eyvazof stated the screens had an additional advantage: “It is extremely comfy for the voice. It’s a wall, that provides additionally acoustic help, and this is essential within the Enviornment, as a result of we sing outside.”

Ongoing virus restrictions imply that the Enviornment, for now, can seat a most of 6,000 visitors, as an alternative of the pre-pandemic 13,500. Orchestra musicians are separated by two-meter distances, the refrain is unfold stage left within the amphitheater seating like a Greek choir, and non-singing forged members put on masks when the stage grows crowded.

For a lot of within the crowd, simply seeing stay theater was a deal with, and the brand new know-how a brand new ingredient to soak up.

“Even getting used to the large units of the Enviornment, it’s nonetheless very stunning,’’ stated Guia Veronese, an everyday on the Enviornment whose 8-year-old son was singing within the Pagliacci boys’ choir. “It nearly appears actual at a sure level.”

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