Florida Grand Opera gets creative with budget, animation techniques

Posted on: March 15, 2010

In Saturday’s (3/13) Toronto Star, William Littler reports from Miami, “Like most sister companies on both sides of the 49th parallel, Florida Grand Opera has had to trim its production costs. … Robert Heuer, celebrating his 25th anniversary as the company’s general director, feels confident he can go back up to five productions the season after next. In the meantime, he has challenged his production staff to substitute imagination for cash. This is where computer animation comes in. Instead of renting the season’s four productions (Pagliacci/Suor Angelica, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Barber of Seville and Carmen), Heuer engaged one design team (Canada’s Andre Barbé for sets and costumes, France’s Renaud Doucet as producer-director) for the entire season. He assigned them an overall budget and invited them to innovate. … So in collaboration with Barbé and Doucet, Lava Studio devised a 22-by-40-foot screen at the rear of the stage and projected onto it accent images, whether dramatic storms, portraits that come to life or showers of musical notes to accompany Count Almaviva’s Serenade to Rosina. … In addition to saving dollars on elaborate built sets, this approach had the effect of outfitting what some might call an overly familiar opera with a new look.”

Posted March 15, 2010