How We Built Rome in “The Clemency of Titus”

Our new production of The Clemency of Titus features some pretty realistic stage effects. Like setting the entire stage on fire (yeah, you read that right). It took a team of 100 more than a year to create these state-of-the-art effects, and the results are mind-blowing.

Through a series of three behind-the-scenes videos, take a look at how we created stage magic in The Clemency of Titus. Can you guess how many sheets of gold leaf are meticulously applied onto the stage walls? The numbers may surprise you.

A scene from LA Opera's 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Inventing Fire

We can get pretty crafty at LA Opera. For example, we used a mixture of silk organza fabric (approximately 150 feet of it) and projected video images to create the realistic fire effects at the end of Act I. Pretty cool (err… hot?), right?

Building the Set

All good things take time. And The Clemency of Titus is no exception. A team of about 100 production staff members created the brand new set in about 16 months. And that includes everything from the preliminary sketches to actually building the set itself.

Optical Illusions

Not everything is what it seems, and the chandeliers we constructed are no exception. We used a combination of plywood, pine steel and paint to get that 3-D effect. They were traced, cut out, laminated and finally cleaned up, all before they finally lit up the stage.

Now you know our secrets to creating stage magic. Will we see you at the show?

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets to The Clemency of Titus.

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6 Responses to How We Built Rome in “The Clemency of Titus”

  1. karen greenwalt says:

    We were there on opening night. This was our most incredible opera expeience including visits to La Scala. The sets were absoulutely amazing. I do have a question – could you provide the names of the painitngs that were on the scrims? They look very familiar.

    Thank you for giving us such a wonderful evening.

  2. Lee Garrett says:

    It was a terrific production, congratulations to L.A. Opera.

    Lee and Bonnie

  3. m says:

    My father was a stage lighting, scenery and sound designer; i wish he could have seen this. He would have loved it!

  4. Robert Harris says:

    The Los Angeles Opera sets are consistently engaging and memorable, extraordinary housing for spectacular music and performance.
    “The Clemency of Titus” sets are among the best ever. CONGRATULATIONS AND GREAT THANKS

  5. Kathy says:

    The sets were amazing at the Clemency of Titus Opera. I was so impressed. Especially the fire and the projections. The room scene was great too. I was studying them while I was at the opera, since I was trying to figure how to make my amateur Halloween decorations better for the trick or treat kids. I loved the lighting last year at the Rigoletto opera. The sets and lighting are always great. This singing is always fantastic too. I have been to several major opera houses in the world and LA Opera is top tier (The Met, La Scala, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco & Santa Fe).

  6. R. Spence says:

    What a fabulous production! Thank you LA Opera

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