Opera Australia Blog

Set design: first looks at Aida on Sydney Harbour

Aida on the Harbour Set Design Render by Mark Thompson

 

Set against Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, the head of Nefertiti stands tall and proud, despite her decay. Two towers stretch up, either side, raining fire.It’s a spectacular vision – the word of Director Gale Edwards and Designer Mark Thompson, realised in wondrous detail by Thompson.

Edwards believes the story of Aida is a powerful and political one. “At the centre of the piece is a love affair – it has to be – but it is love in a world of war, a world with no place for love.” Convinced that these themes spanned the ages, Edwards has not confined Aida to a particular period.

“I wanted Mark to use imagery from classical Egypt and modern Egypt and blend that unashamedly,” Edwards explained. “I wanted one person to have a rifle or a machine gun and another to ride a chariot and for those images to sit comfortably together. I’m not doing a museum piece. Nor am I doing a contemporary take on Aida, in miniskirts.

“I think what we’ve ended up with will be quite thrilling to see, visually.”

Set model for Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo: Aidan Corrigan

Set model for Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo: Aidan Corrigan

Close up: set model of Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo by Aidan Corrigan.

Close up: set model of Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo by Aidan Corrigan.

[Detail] Set model for Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo by Aidan Corrigan.

[Detail] Set model for Aida on Sydney Harbour, designed by Mark Thompson. Photo by Aidan Corrigan.

4 Responses to “Set design: first looks at Aida on Sydney Harbour”

  1. Lyn Hall

    The sets for both operas look brilliant. i am a great fan of our opera company’s productions and believe they are consistently of a very high standard. Well done everyone connected with the Australian Opera, you are a company to be proud of.

    Reply
    • Lyn Hall

      Love the costume design seen on the model larger than life suits the scale of the stage.

      Reply
  2. Gaston Nguyen

    Great to preview the wonderful designs by Mark Thompson. I could now clearly recognise the Ancient Egyptian motifs among the the porcelaine works he created for the recent exhibition at Robin Gibson Gallery, like the obelisk (on the elephant’s back!)
    Can’t wait!

    Reply
  3. Georgie Poitras

    I am totally fascinated and appreciative of the talented design work involved in stage backdrops. To think it originates from an artist’s imagination, planning & construction, to eventuate in a visual expression that sets the theme and captivates an audience… a bit of magic as far as I am concerned.

    Reply

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