Ravenna Festival, ''Pietra di diaspro''


A picture of the backstage that deceives the observer.In the background we can see two people appearing at the proscenium of the stage and watching the stalls of the PalaDeAndré in Ravenna.The proscenium, however, is on the left, out of the field of the picture, while what you see is its image reflected in a square ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrop with the sides of 7 m.The top part of the backdrop is in semitransparency, in a situation of backlighting towards the daylight that filters through the coverage of the PalaDeAndré.The whole proscenium is veiled by a large NTR - Tripolina curtain black colour, 600 cm high, here collected to facilitate the crossing during the rehearsals of the show.On the left in the middle are suspended some NTR - Tripolina curtains, white colour. The right of the photo is occupied by a second ZSM - Magic Mirror, identical to the previous one, with which it forms an angle of about 120º.
View all
1 - Tripolina string curtains, white colour2 - Tripolina string curtain, black colour3 - Fondali ZSM - Magic MirrorThe CAD project by the scenographer and visual designer Ezio Antonelli, who mortised the two ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrops in a hemisphere with a staircase to go up, while each side of the proscenium was provided with two wings made of NTR - Tripolina, white colour, that form an angle of 90°.The central round curtain over the hemisphere is also realized with NTR - Tripolina, white colour, as well as the two big backdrops placed on the back to form an ''X'' with the ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrops.The proscenium is completely veiled with ...
... NTR - Tripolina, black colour. Ezio Antonelli planned to use all the NTR - Tripolina backdrops in transparency and with projections, with the exception of those on the sides of the proscenium, which were devoted to reflect the projections only.Installed by the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome, what the same Antonelli called ''an optical device'' was then sorrounded by a large Stage masking made of COS - Oscurante molton.
The walk of the actress is reflected from both of the ZSM - Magic Mirror, while a second actress, on top of the central hemisphere, acts wrapped in the transparency of the round curtain made of NTR - Tripolina, white colour.The game of lights and projections takes place on various levels made up of NTR - Tripolina black colour that veils the whole proscenium, by two ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrops and by the NTR - Tripolina backdrops, white colour placed behind the mirrors.«The starting point were the directions of the composer; he spoke, from the first meetings, about 360° video opera and composition, both from the point of view of the listening than of the vision. The first obstacle and limit that I found was the disposition of the audience in classical theatres, well separated from the place where the shows run.»Ezio Antonelli, ibidem.
«It's many years that my scenographical research is moving toward the use of video-projectors in theatre. All has origin from the intuition that is a creative process, but it is developed through a careful planning, realized with a CAD, where the technical knowledge of the materials and available technologies are fundamental. I always try to foresee everything in the design phase in order to give as much information as possible to the developers and also to offer to the director already in pre-production a full range of effects and a potential uses of the space, in order to optimize the lasting time of the rehearsals that nowadays is increasingly restricted.»Ezio Antonelli, ibidem.
«This scenography should be considered an optical machine that allows the multiplication of the space.We used a mirroring material called ZSM - Magic Mirror, produced by Peroni, which allows, according to the lighting, to see reflected, to see through it or both of them. A sort of virtual-real that multiplies the virtual-virtual that, in our case, is represented by the pictures projected by nine video-projectors placed in several points of the scenic space and of the audience.»Ezio Antonelli, ibidem.
«The scenography is also made up of NTR - Tripolina backdrops, another material by Peroni, also called ''Angel's hair'': they are long thin threads, with a very soft fall, that reflect very well the light of the projections, a sort of semi-transparent screen, as a tulle, which can be crossed by the players.»Ezio Antonelli, ibidem.
A sequence of five pictures that illustrates emblematically the transparent and mirroring properties of the ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrops.The actress on the hemisphere, in front of the round curtain made of white NTR - Tripolina has on her right and on her left her images reflected by the two ZSM - Magic Mirror backdrops.All the other characters that can be seen behind the transparency of the mirror, including the actor who stretches out the hand towards the actress and who is interacting not with her only, but with her mirrored image too.
Video opera
texts freely drawn from the Book of Revelation
and from poems by Paul Celan
First night
Rome, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, 10/6/2007

virtual image
Costume design
Alessandro Lai
Stage direction
Cristina Mazzavillani Muti


«With the combination of ZSM - Magic Mirror and NTR - Tripolina we obtain the creation of many different levels, the depth of the scene increases considerably and, at the same time, we lose the perception of what is real and what is reflected.»
Ezio Antonelli, interview released to Alfio Morelli, Sound&Lite, n. 68.

Video & Documentation

Ravenna Festival, ''Pietra di diaspro''

Ravenna Festival, ''Pietra di diaspro''

Materials used in this production

- String backdrops made of Tripolina

Projection / transparency backdrops

COS - Oscurante

Duvetyne and blackout fabrics

HSE - Tempesta

Silks and satins

NTR - Tripolina

Materials for string curtains

ZSM - Mirrors made of QSM - Magic Mirror Film

Projection / transparency backdrops