New Ways in Opera

Wednesday 8th May 2013

As multimedia becomes a more and more important role in our life, it is already used in different types of art in order to develop it further and bring new aspects in the interpretation of pieces.

Approaches of dealing with multimedia in theatre can be seen in the productions of Katie Mitchell, a British theatre director, and Leo Warner, a video designer. Their productions are characterised by the use of cameras, multimedia projections, and the sound techniques of early silent cinema on stage, with actors scurrying about filming their colleagues and swapping roles with one another. Piece “Fraulein Julie”, premiered at the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin in 2010 and now on at the Barbican in London, and “Waves”, premiered in 2005, both incorporate this idea and new method.

A way to deal with multimedia in opera can be seen in the new, groundbreaking interpretation of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte“ at the Komische Oper Berlin. Opera and multimedia are brought together in a union never seen before. The director of the opera house, Barrie Kosky, restaged this piece with British theater group “1927“. “1927“ had already used the method in their shows, a dynamic interaction between animation and actors.

In “Die Zauberflöte“ a plain wall is used on stage to project the animations and to create a wonderful fantasy world with flying recorders and growing plants. This unique interpretation still proves an enormous success and can be watched and understood regardless of potential language barriers.

Have a look at the trailer here… but it is definitely better to see it live at the Komische Oper Berlin!!