In summer 1992, Svoboda staged a production of Verdi’s La Traviata at the open-air theatre in Macerata, Italy. He placed ten painted drops on the floor – stacked one atop another, like carpets – and the bottommost one was the drop for the last scene. Then in the angle formed by the theatre’s brick wall, he placed a mirror tilted at a 45 degree angle which reflected the drops on the podium. The overture ended, the mirror rose and reflected the curtain – black-clothed technicians approached the stacked drops, one from each side; they tore the top one in half and dragged it aside thus revealing the next one in sequence. When the last drop had been dragged away, the mirror reflected the plain wood floor. This marked the end of all illusions as Violetta died in her summer residence. After that, the mirror started to rise up, the reflection of the floor became smaller, and the mirror reflected not only the auditorium and the audience, but the entire stage with all its furniture, the technicians, the singers, the electricians – everyone was shut in together in the elliptical space of the theatre.
Giuseppe Verdi: LA TRAVIATA
Associazione Sferisterio / Sferisterio di Macerata
premiere: 26. 7. 1992
director: Henning Brockhaus
conductor: Gustav Kuhni
costume designer: Ulisse Santicchi
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