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The Sicilian Vespers

For the production of Verdi’s opera The Sicilian Vespers at the Hamburg State Opera, Svoboda met up with another well-known opera director – John Dexter. The opera tells of the historical uprising of the Sicilians in 1282, who attacked the French rulers of the island during vespers. A staircase constructed of several segments and with two landings spanned the entire width of the stage, and during the play the segments were rearranged to form different configurations. The space glowed with the radiant Sicilian sun thanks to the striplights installed at several levels in the fly loft. In 1974, the same stage design was transported to the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Paris Opera, and then ten years later, to Covent Garden in London and the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, thus becoming the best-known of Svoboda’s stage designs.

Hamburgische Staatsoper Hamburg
premiere: 4. 5. 1965
director: John Dexter
conductor: Nello Santi
costume designer: Jan Skalický

More information about production