Zurich train station temporarily becomes opera hall
1 October 2008
ZURICH — Tuesday night’s three-hour production of La Traviata, sponsored by Swiss television, was viewed by train station patrons, but was also broadcast on Swiss television and Arte, a French-German cultural television station.
Performers and producers said they were pleased with the performance. No technical problems were reported and the audience of several thousand applauded enthusiastically.
Alexander Pereira, manager of the Zurich Opera, said the goal of this kind of event was to reach out to a younger audience. By staging the opera in the middle of the train station, organizers said they hoped to "merge great art with the everyday."
That meant, at times, arias from soprano Eva Mei (Violetta) or tenor Vittorio Grigolo (Alfredo), were disrupted by loudspeaker announcements. But it also meant Alfredo would climb aboard a local train and sing from there.
Additionally, as Violetta wandered through the audience singing about the ups and downs of her love life, viewers pulled out their mobile phones and broadcast the music back home.
The staging required major technical preparation. The orchestra, directed by Paolo Carignani, performed from a 24-meter high platform in the middle of the station’s main hall. Performers received their direction via earpieces as they wandered among the station’s cafes or platforms.
The production required 105 spotlights, 16 cameras, 151 microphones and 15 kilometres of cable.
[dpa / Expatica]