A Temple of Opera Welcomes St. Francis of Assisi to Madrid

A Temple of Opera Welcomes St. Francis of Assisi to Madrid
Large-Scale Photos Available at El País‘s Website
Photos taken by Bernardo Pérez June 17, 2011

Madrid Arena St. Francis
The Royal Theatre will debut a scenic version of Saint Francis of Assisi by the French composer Olivier Messiaen in Casa del Campo’s Madrid Arena on July 6. It will also be performed on the 8th, 10th, 11th, and 13th, at 6:00 PM each time. An enormous cupula has been installed in the building for the occasion.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Cupula
22 Tons of Cupula. The cupula weighs 22 metric tons and measures 13 meters in diameter and 14 meters in height. Its creators are Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, married Russian plastic artists who worked on another performance of this opera in the Trienal of Ruhr in 2007.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Cupula Side View
Under Cambreling’s Direction. Distributed around the cupula will be 9 soloists, 120 members of the Royal Theatre Chorus and the Valencia Chorus, and 132 musicians, 114 of whom are part of the Symphonic Radio Orchestra Baden-Baden-Friburgo (SRB) and 3 of whom will play Martenot waves. The director is the Frenchman Sylvain Cambreling, one of the greatest Messiaen experts in the world.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Wide View
21,500 Seats. The space holds 21,500 seats. Entrance passes will be distributed between season ticket holders (some 13,000) and the box office (about 7000). The spectators will enjoy a performance of about six hours.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Purple Cupula
The Sound of the Super Bowl. The color and lighting of the cupula will change throughout the opera thanks to 1,400 fluorescent lights installed in its interior. The structure will employ the same sound equipment as the Super Bowl: according to the organizers, 60 microphones and other megaphones will guarantee the same quality throughout the premises.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Cupula Installation
Ultimately Staged in La Casa de Campo. The staging of St. Francis of Assisi had to be moved to the Royal Theatre to Madrid Arena because the weight and dimensions required were not possible in the former. Before deciding on Casa de Campo, the organization team investigated “many locations” in Madrid and Toledo.

Madrid Arena St. Francis Purple Cupula Installation
Eight years in the making. Olivier Messiaen spent eight years, from 1976 to 1983, composing Saint Francis of Assisi, which had been commissioned by Rolf Liebermann, director of the Paris Opera. The work consists of three acts and eight scenes.

Explore posts in the same categories: Music, Spain, Translations

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