Friday, October 14, 2011

Digital Scenery of 'The Phantom of the Opera' at Royal Albert Hall in Celebration of 25 Years

Rendering of the "Masquerade" design.
From 'The Woman in White' and then 'Love Never Dies,' the use of video scenery in both of these Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals was prominent. Rather than just downsizing the set design, digital scenery is being used to complete the scenery and is often used to great effect that would be too expensive or impossible to do with traditional stage design techniques. In 'The Phantom of the Opera' at Royal Albert Hall in Celebration of 25 Years, the use of digital scenery helps to fill the stage at the huge venue but remain faithful to the original and much loved designs by Maria Bjornson.

For "The Woman in White" many criticized designer William Dudley's complete use of digital scenery on curved screens which was applied to dizzying effect and caused some dizziness among audience members. The use of digital scenery and projection designed by Jon Driscoll for the 'Phantom' sequel 'Love Never Dies' was used to enhance rather than dominate the production design by Bob Crowley.

Driscoll was handed the duties of again designing the projections and digital scenery for 'The Phantom' 25th anniversary celebration. An article on reports that Driscoll had to work to within the sets of two designers, Bjornson and Matt Kinley. Kinley adapted the designs by Bjornson and augmented them for Royal Albert Hall. In addition costumes and accessories had to be found to dress the more than 130 member cast and ensemble. So it would have been improper to bill the show as 'The Phantom of the Opera' 25th Anniversary Concert.

The digital scenery was split into two sections. Above the raised orchestra platform was a huge gauze screen onto which the projections were employed. Below the platform were nine panels filled with with 75 LED screens. The five inter panels moved into a series of different positions for cast and scenery to be moved on and off stage. These two video elements were united to depict the elegant swooshing of the curtains across both surfaces.

In this post are set design renderings revealing the use of the projection and video screens. Click HERE to read more about Driscoll's work on 'The Phantom' celebration. 

Rendering of the the top of the Paris opera house for "All I Ask of You"
and "Music of the Night (reprise)".
Rendering of the "Hannibal" opera for Act 1.
Design for the Phantom's lair.
The design for the ballet during the "Il Muto" opera.
Rendering of the opening scene of the "Il Muto" opera in Act 1.
Design for the appearance of the Phantom as Red Death during "Masquerade".


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