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Backstage

Simon Boccanegra’s ship

An interview with José Sciuto, Deputy Artistic Director of the Workshops — By Cyril Pesenti

“The sea is an essential element in the opera Simon Boccanegra. In Calixto Bieito’s production, that sea has retreated, leaving a huge ship's hull washed up on the stage. The construction of this set was the fruit of a complex and meticulous process, involving almost all the craftspeople in the various workshops—from the research and design office to the workshops specialising in ironwork, carpentry, composite materials, painting, and sculpture, etc. This was an extremely “technological” set: To build it, a three-dimensional scan of a scale model of the ship, created by the sculpture workshop, allowed the design office to create a blueprint for the surface of the hull and its inner structure. Using these components as a starting point, a large number of metallic pieces were laser-cut and then assembled. Some thirty moulds were prepared to create the metal plates for the hull. These plates were also designed in a way that they could be used as a projection surface for the videos that director Calixto Bieito is so fond of.”

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