3D video replaces huge sets in Verona as full operas resume

VERONA – The Verona Arena amphitheater in northern Italy has returned to staging whole operas for the very first time because the pandemic — but with a person big distinction.

The monumental sets that ordinarily fill the large amphitheater stage have been changed by dynamic, 3D photos broadcast on substantial LED screens, recreating a Sicilian village or a Fellini-esque movie backlot.

Distancing rules meant that stagehands moving sets experienced to be limited in the cramped backstage in the open-air Roman-period amphitheater, environment in motion a reimagining of the 98th Verona Arena Opera Competition.

For this season, know-how is standing in for the sets for which the Arena is famous, ones big sufficient to fill the vast stage and interact even viewers users sitting down considerably absent in the uppermost seats.

“We recognized by now last calendar year in November that we wanted to have an additional program, in the eventuality that we could not use the big sets,’’ reported the Arena’s basic manager, Cecilia Gasdia. “After all, the Verona Arena is used to doing large exhibits, a little pharaonic, with great creative good quality.”


Deputy creative director Stefano Trespidi tapped technical wizards at DWOK, an Italian firm specializing in state-of-the-art video clip design that assisted develop La Scala’s all-virtual 2020 season premier and created virtual sets for a generation of “Aida” at the Sydney opera.

“They are artists and professionals at the exact same time, and that is not straightforward,’’ Trespidi mentioned. “This is a terrific innovation improvements need time to consider hold. The system that we began nowadays we never know exactly where it will choose us. Absolutely, it will acquire us ahead.”

Friday’s time-opening premiere was a double-invoice of Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana” and Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” a manufacturing planned for the 2020 season that was by no means staged due to limits that restricted performances to live shows. In fact, picket sets for final year’s “Cavalleria” continue being unfinished at the Arena’s cavernous workshop at the edge of the metropolis, established aside for probably a long run version.


Rather, a Sicilian village was produced on 400 sq. meters of LED screens, with projections of a hillside, a church façade and craggy properties, all with three-dimensional depth. Going clouds gave the scene dynamism, when singers and actors moved up and down a bodily staircase and by a foreground crammed with tables and chairs to develop a central piazza.

When “Cavalleria rusticana’’ was nostalgically staged in black, white and grey, the “Pagliacci’’ cast was dressed in dazzling technicolor costumes, against a additional spare backdrop motivated by a Fellini film established, and underlining the collision of genuine existence and theater in the opera.

The movie part also includes cameo imagery from Italian museums in every of the five new operas, which includes also “Aida,” “Nabucco” and “La Traviata.” The collaborations, such as with the Vatican Museum, the Uffizi and Turin’s Egyptian Museum, are intended as a gesture of solidarity with a further cultural branch that also endured from limitations during the pandemic.


“They discovered this wonderful answer that will work pretty very well,” reported tenor Yusif Eyvazof, who is singing the job of Canio/Pagliaccio. “It is genuinely so beautiful to see, that you you should not see it is not a genuine established. And the viewers can see a real exhibit, and not just a live performance.”

Eyvazof explained the screens experienced an additional gain: “It is quite at ease for the voice. It is a wall, that presents also acoustic aid, and this is very vital in the Arena, simply because we sing outdoors.”

Ongoing virus restrictions mean that the Arena, for now, can seat a highest of 6,000 guests, instead of the pre-pandemic 13,500. Orchestra musicians are separated by two-meter distances, the refrain is distribute phase left in the amphitheater seating like a Greek choir, and non-singing solid customers dress in masks when the stage grows crowded.

For several in the crowd, just seeing reside theater was a handle, and the new engineering a new element to take in.


“Even remaining made use of to the big sets of the Arena, it is continue to very beautiful,’’ explained Guia Veronese, a frequent at the Arena whose 8-yr-old son was singing in the Pagliacci boys’ choir. “It pretty much would seem authentic at a specified point.”

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