André Chénier, the most famous work by the Italian composer Umberto Giordano, is brought to life for the ‘Opera on the Lake’ floating stage of the 2011 Bregenz Opera Festival in Bregenz, Austria by stage designer David Fielding under the artistic direction of David Pountney. The brilliantly vivid historical drama and human tragedy of shattering intensity is presented on the waterproofed set built directly into lake constance. It is then mounted upon a concrete core anchored into the base of the lake, while wooden poles support accessory structures of the stage. More images and project description after the break.
The design for ‘André Chénier’ is dominated by an oversized face and torso which is modeled after the revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat from whose left eye streams a series of stairways. An open book to stage right of the figure is frequently highlighted throughout the performance with special lighting effects, ranging from sculptural installations to elaborate gobos that cast shadow scenes along its pages.
At water level, a floating platform, carried by what appears to be the hand of the statue, moves in response to plot action. Other mobile set pieces rise in and out of the water over the course of the performance.