Our 2014 production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute marked the first time in opera that all physical scenery was entirely replaced by video projection. A marvel of Suzanne Andrade and Barrie Kosky’s 1927 inspiration, this Flute took us back to the roaring twenties in cinematic style.
This upcoming February, The Magic Flute returns to wow more Los Angeles audiences.
Take a sneak peek behind-the-scenes below to see how some of the tech for the show works.
Where can you find Pamina?
Pamina, daughter stands on a tiny revolving door platform that pivots out of the wall that serves as a projection screen. She is harnessed and buckled into the wall. Monostatos (Sarastro’s slave) stands on the first level of the stage. All other scenic elements are video projections.
Different color tapes are used for “spike” marks. These spike marks serve as a road map to indicate the position of sets and props and performers. The integration of these elements is critical in a production as intricate as this Magic Flute with, nearly one thousand video animation cues.
The video animation is not a complete film that plays from beginning to end. It is composed of several layers of separate clips. All the clips are stored on a powerful computer (media server) and the stage manager, while watching the visuals and following the music, “calls” these cues accordingly to a projectionist. The projectionist then pushes a “go” button, which executes the cue sequences. All of this is projected through one 18,000 lumen, hi-definition projector located in a booth at the back of the orchestra level seating.
Astoundingly, because the video is mixed live for every performance (based on the musical tempo of the conductor, orchestra, and singers), no two productions are exactly the same
Be sure to check back here in the next few months for more first-looks at The Magic Flute.