Figaro opera camion

     Figaro – Opera camion

reduction in one act from Barbiere di Siviglia by G. Rossini
Concept and direction: Fabio Cherstich 
Set design and video: Gianuligi Toccafondo
Production: Teatro dell’opera di Roma in collaboration with Teatro Massimo di Palermo
The question I posed myself was simple: how can musical theatre reach a new, mixed, non-elitist audience? How can opera be perceived as a moment of cultural sharing and intelligent entertainment for as many people as possible rather than an inaccessible (or worse, bourgeois) event? To achieve this goal, we ought to get out there, get some wheels and bring opera to the public. Hence the idea of an ‘opera truck’, going from square to square with its orchestra and its company of singers. A musical theatre that recalls and revives the Italian tradition of fantastic story-telling: the minstrels, the puppet masters and travelling theatres. The show comes to town, is performed and then sets off for a new town. OperaCamion because the truck becomes the stage, exploiting every inch: from the cabin to the trailer, not to mention the sides. A special set for that popular and winning opera, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. And so, Figaro! This time, the daring, flamboyant and multi-faceted factotum takes on the role of a truck driver and brings his story to the streets. The amorous intrigues and misunderstandings between the characters all take place in, on, under and around the truck. The side opens and becomes the stage, while the trailer is used for the set, structures and apertures that take on life thanks to Gianluigi Toccafondo’s surrealistic poetic images. Plus a hi-tech set design, where video and projections are used to develop a visual tale allowing the atmosphere and emotions change – now wider, now closer – to suit the music, all thanks to altered perspectives inspired by drawings from the late 1700s. Huge coins fall from Figaro’s pockets, crushing the Count of Almaviva; explosions of hearts and serpents in Rosina’s hair as she dreams of Spanish cities while shut in her small bedroom; the back-lit shadows of Bartolo and Basilio become like ghosts and swamp the stage. Figaro! is a magical experience, a comic yet melancholic game, where dimensions are distorted and all that is ‘known’ can become mad, dark and grotesque. This reduced version has just five main characters and is of limited duration: all the action takes place in a single act. With this itinerant Barber of Seville I have achieved my dream of taking opera to the streets and offering a new public this funny, poetical tale, as lively as a dance: a direct and visionary emanation of Rossini’s music.
Excerpt from the video created by Gianluigi Toccafondo for Figaro! Operacamion
Interview with Fabio Cherstich