Pierre Yovanovitch creates opera set for Theater Basel

Greg Stevens

Pierre Yovanovitch has made the established structure for a new generation of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, which debuted on 21 January 2023 at Theater Basel, Switzerland. 

This is the initial foray onto the operatic stage for the French interior architect and home furniture designer, while he has lengthy experienced a penchant for narrative – staging exhibitions around Mademoiselle Oops, an imaginary character with a penchant for whimsy and romance, and developing the widely coveted ‘Mama Bear’, ‘Papa Bear’ and ‘Baby Bear’ chairs. 

Pierre Yovanovitch theatre set for Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto

Pierre Yovanovitch Theatre Set Design for Rigoletto in Basel

(Impression credit: Paolo Abate)

‘Opera sets are at their most highly effective when they reflect the soul of the do the job, its new music and people. I want to do the exact in my oeuvre,’ Yovanovitch mentioned in a 2021 interview with Kinfolk. An avid opera goer, he calls his Theater Basel set style – commissioned by director Vincent Huguet – the realisation of a lifelong dream.

Rigoletto tells the tale of a jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua, whose globe will come crashing down when his innocent daughter Gilda appeals to the duke’s focus. Inspired by this tale of vengeance, naivety and electricity, Yovanovitch conceived a moveable layout scheme comprising 3 curved walls, 1 nested in just a different.

Pierre Yovanovitch Theatre set

(Image credit rating: Paolo Abate)

‘I made a shifting established that could progressively acquire shape as Rigoletto’s curse evolves. I conceived it as a stripped-down set so that the characters’ souls, in disinheritance, can just take up as a lot space as they want,’ he describes.

Painted shiny crimson on the inside of and blue on the outside the house, each and every wall can revolve 360 degrees about a round observe and is punctuated by a rectangular doorway in the centre. Their movement serves to frame the characters, and attract attention to the shift in functions all through the show. As the story unfolds, they shut up into an ever tighter circle to heighten the feeling of psychological drama.

Pierre Yovanovitch Theatre Set Design for Rigoletto in Basel

(Graphic credit: Paolo Abate)

In the history, painted in white, is a monumental curved staircase – a Yovanovitch signature that seems to extend across the width of the opera home, although suspended from the ceiling is a minimalist chandelier, shaped of three concentric rings of gentle.

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