Arquitecturas Efímeras, an international scenography workshop, created and developed by Mapa Teatro, summoned a group of artists from different regions and artistic disciplines of Colombia, to reflect theoretically and practically on the concept of set design in live art. Accompanied by five specialists from Latin America and France, the workshop culminates by choosing one of the proposals of the workshop a year later, and developing it into a scenographic and theatrical/musical staging of the opera by German composer C.W.Gluck.
What we have aimed to establish in this project is a dialogue between a classical myth (Orpheus and Eurydice) and a modern myth (the assassination of Sharon Tate, the wife of film director Roman Polanski, murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson, founder of “The Family”). The set (a copy of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate’s living room on Cielo Drive 10050, Hollywood) is placed outside the traditional stage, moving between the time-space frame of fiction and the time-space frame of a real event, through various audio-visual and “sceno-graphic” dispositifs. On stage, a projection in real time of what is seen outside on the set, is shown, allowing for fiction and the real event to emerge at the same time. What happens on stage is also then projected outside, permitting the audience to be in two places simultaneously (one real and one virtual space), on and off the “stage”.
To displace the set helps us to dislocate the mythic. It questions how relevant and current it is today. Gluck’s music, left intact in this exercise, travels across time with its profound currency. That which is present in an anachronistic and irreverent way, is always pertinent when we wish to modernise our views and re-signify out times. In our time and cultural context, this poses a disconcerting yet necessary call to new audiences to, without prejudice, get closer to the fascinating language of opera, standing at the crossroads of all art disciplines and thinking.
Orpheus and Eurydice at cielo drive 10050 2009