Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gehry's Pritzker stoned and decayed, the Herzon & de Meuron Way - thanks, Atilla!

There's more than one way to skin a stage, witness the above two photos. The top picture may look a tad familiar: Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion bandshell in Millennium Park. The bottom pic, stolen from courtesy the inestimable Opera Chic blog, is a stage set for the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Verdi's Attila, opening February 23rd with Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role and conducted by Chicago Symphony Music Director designate Riccardo Muti. Beyond the strong musical pedigree, this may be the most haute couture Hun of all time. Costumes by Miuccia Prada; sets by Herzog & de Meuron. Pelts by Blackglama*.

According to Jacques Herzog in this Met Opera video:
Atilla describes the moment in history where an old world, an antique world is collapsing and something new is rising out of the rubble of the old . . . Verdi's vision . . . basically, [is] based on two images. On one hand is the rubble, is the destruction, is the destroyed world, that we took very literally, even more literally than Verdi probably did, and [the other] is nature, represented by wild nature, very strong powerful nature . . . a forest that was both real, scary, symbolic, magical mystical . . . this romantic moment that you find some times in art, in paintings, where the wood is used as a wild energy that at the same time is something which promises hope.
More Opera Chic photo's of the sets and the production - oh, and some singers, too - here.

*note to litigators: reference for satirical purposes only.

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