The digital art is becoming an increasingly versatile discipline due to its capacity to mix with any other artistic expression and provide it with even more visual impact. The plays and musical shows are resorting to it with the aim of attracting and surprising the audience, because people are asking for more eye-catching special effects.
It’s no longer difficult to see how screens and graphic art interact with the dancers, musicians and actors on the stages of the best theatres of the world. Two leading examples that are succeeding thanks to this harmonious coexistence are the representation of the opera The Magic Flute, written by Mozart and performed by the Komische Oper Berlin and the breakdance show Red Bull Flying Bach.
“The Magic Flute” in its most vivid moment
The staging of The Magic Flute by Suzanne Andrade and Barrie Kosky has been acclaimed by the audience in each city it’s been performed. In a long list of different versions of this Mozart opera, this witty and kaleidoscopic interpretation is the most ground-breaking of its kind, because the Komische Oper Berlin singers interpret their roles in front of a screen while moving simultaneously with the animated film created by Paul Barritt.
“The Magic Flute” opened the season 2016/2017 in the Liceu Theatre in Barcelona
With the silent film aesthetic from the 20s, but also with references to pop and Chinese shadows, the visual creation of the British company 1927 gets to delight no matter where it goes. Its agile and dynamic rhythm captivates even those who don’t like the conventional opera.
The topic centres on the love story between Tamino and Pamina, a prince and the daughter of the Night Queen. Pamina was kidnapped by the wicked Sarastro and the Queen promises Tamino her daughter’s hand as long as he rescues her. He accepts her proposition the moment she shows him a portrait of Pamina. With the bird Papageno, a flute and some magic bells, Tamino finds Pamina but he must deal with three obstacles to get to her.
Red Bull Flying Bach, breakdance with classical music
After attending a classical music concert, Vartan Bassil, founder of the urban dance school Flying Steps, decided to create a show substituting the “ballerina performing pirouettes on her toes with a breakdancer doing head spins”. It was then that the Red Bull Flying Bach show was born and since then it has travelled halfway around the world testing the compatibility of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music with breakdance.
Filmmaker, realizador, director & DOP: Jochen Schmoll; Agency: New Moon Productions, Barcelona
Being aware of the risky concept, Bassil wanted to go one step further and he included on stage a visual experience that would make the play unforgettable for the spectators. The recognised VJ and stage designer Marco Moo, in collaboration with the Berliner artists from the Pfadfinderei studio, are responsible for creating the digital visual effects of the show.
The result of this mixture is very special. The numbers support it: since 2010, Red Bull Flying Bach has performed in 28 different countries and more than 300,000 people have enjoyed this show. Just like Christoph Hagel, the artistic director and pianist, says, “we have received very positive feedback all over the world from the youngest to the oldest.”
Both shows certainly remove the myth that classical music is boring or that it doesn’t address to a young audience. The projections on the stage screen provide modernity, visuality and spectacularity to the artistic proposals that are already intrinsically interesting. Undoubtedly, digital art is here to stay.
Red Bull Flying Bach: Madrid (Nuevo Teatro Alcalá – del 8 al 11 de Septiembre); Bilbao (Palacio Euskalduna – 17 y 18 de Septiembre)
La Flauta mágica: Barcelona (Gran Teatre del Liceu – 12, 13, 15, 16 y 17 de septiembre)