Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli, ''Ernani''


The pictorial part of the scenography - a backdrop, two wings and a curtain - was painted in the scenography workshop named Koki Fregni of the Teatro Comunale of Modena. It is probably the last workshop of this kind to be still active in the position foreseen by the architecture of the ''Italian theater'', that is under the roof of the theater ...
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... and above the ceiling of the main hall of the theatre.Also called ''soffittone'', it was used for the realization of the painted backdrops because of the ampleness of the floor that reproduced in the shape and size ...
... the floor of the underlying hall. The ''soffittone'' of Modena is shaped like a horseshoe, has a depth of 24 m and a maximum width of 17 m.The only way that the scenography painters can use to verify their work ...
... is to climb on this wooden ladder, that probably has the same age of the Teatro Comunale of Modena, inaugurated in 1841. The scenography workshop is dedicated today to the scenographer from Modena Koki Fregni (1930-1994), the teacher of the scenographers and painters from Modena ...
... Maria Grazia Cervetti and Rinaldo Rinaldi (here in the foreground), in turn the teacher of Keiko Shiraishi.As a rule, for functional reasons, the ceiling communicated with the Flyloft: thanks to the connection it was possible to lower the backdrops directly on the stage.The wooden wall visible at the bottom, which in fact separates the ''soffittone'' from the Flyloft ...
... is located exactly on the arch of the proscenium.The five centuries of the theatrical pictorial tradition of the Italian region Emilia that from Sebastiano Serlio reach our days with the painters from Modena Koki Fregni, Maria Grazia Cervetti and Rinaldo Rinaldi, have an heir who is native... Japanese, from Shizuoka. Keiko Shiraishi, who is also charged with the maintenance of the scenography workshop of the Teatro Comunale of Modena, is aware of her own responsibilities:«... I reached Modena in 1997 and I hadn't the chance to know Koki ...»
«... but I feel his presence in the workshop, and it's a big help when I have some difficulty with the backdrops.The brushstrokes, the palettes, the light and shade... then the intentions of the scenographer, the difficulty to foresee the final effect with the illumination of scene and the distance of the public... The job of the scenographer-painter is really difficult, but I think to be lucky to be able to do it.»In the photo, Keiko Shiraishi and Maria Grazia Cervetti are completing, in the scenography workshop of the Teatro Comunale of Modena, a painted backdrop with a size of 17,40 x 9,50 m made of black BGO - Gobelin tulle.
The realization, in the carpentry of the Teatro Comunale of Modena, of five double sided scenograhical carts, one of which shows a damasked pattern in relief.The black stains, that will be camouflaged by the pictorial decoration, are actually some small windows made of black BGO - Gobelin tulle that will allow the visibility for the scene shifters that will move the carts on the scene.
Drama for music in four acts
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
First night
Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 9/3/1844

Dario Gessati
Costume design
Valeria Donata Bettella
Scenographic realizations
Keiko Shiraishi
in the workshops of Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti of Modena
Light design
Fiammetta Baldiserri
Technical direction
Primo Federici
Stage direction
Andrea Cigni

Co-production with

Materials used in this production

ASC - Sceno

Muslin and canvas

BGO - Gobelin

Scrim and bobbinet fabrics

COS - Oscurante

Duvetyne and blackout fabrics

Stage maskings

Acoustic curtains