Monday, December 19, 2011

Awesome Opera

Each year the Austrian town of Bregenz holds Bregenzer Festspiele, an opera festival. There are two stages for the event, an indoor theater that showcases lesser known works and a grand outdoor amphitheater on the lake for popular titles. While I haven't had the chance to see how amazing they performance is, I have had the opportunity to be stunned by the festival. The fantastic thing about Bregenzer Festspiele is the sets. Each year it seems that the festival attempts to outdo itself with another awesome set.

Designs like the one above, used for Tosca, have won international fame by appearing in the James Bond film "Quantum of Solace". I remember being awed by the scene in the film but to find out that this was a real theater was incredible. And then I saw the rest of the sets.

Above is one that was used for A Masked Ball by Verdi.

The above one, for Bizet's Carmen gives an idea of the setting for the stage and the huge audience. I can't imagine how incredible it has to be to see opera outdoors, on the lake.

The last one is from one of my favorite operas, Pucci's La Boheme. It was the first opera I ever saw, decades ago on TV. I loved the starving artist motif and the sad sweet tale of love. It was my introduction to opera and has lead to a lifelong love. I don't see the local operas every year but I try to go at least every other. And now I want to see the ones in Bregenz. I love good set work and it doesn't get any more dramatic or awe inspiring than this. For the history of the festival and the rest of the sets, click here.

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