Russian Staging of Rossini’s Cinderella Breaks New Ground

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Wed, 03/28/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Under the guidance of artistic director Victor Gerasimenko a new production of Rossini’s Cinderella at the New Opera Theatre in Moscow breaks new ground for the staging of classical opera in Russia. The production uses three video projectors firing onto a specially produced backdrop with the three screens being positioned at angles to each other. Dataton’s WatchOut system is used to blend the three images seamlessly together so that the backdrop appears to be a single visual entity when required by the production with the content of all three projectors being delivered in perfect synchronization. The audience in turns sees a royal palace replete with multiple halls a fantastic garden containing freakish plants unusual pavilions and other magical landscapes…all without a single piece of physical backdrop being moved.
  Masha Yourieva speaking on behalf of says “Victor Gerasimenko is fascinated by computer technology and saw in Cinderella the kind of fairytale that would really benefit from having the kind of quick and dramatic changes of scenography that only computer animation can deliver. So we supplied four WatchOut licences with responsible for integrating the video into the overall production. Each projector has its own WatchOut -equipped PC delivering content while a fourth PC acts as the master controller.”
  “The particular advantages of WatchOut are that it does not impose any restriction on the size of the image so the design team for ‘Cinderella’ led by Ekaterina Volkova and the animation designer Eric Gromilov could really let their imagination run wild. Everyone involved put a huge amount of work into preparing the show and programmers used WatchOut here as well – using it as a content-management system to sync the video playback with the music and production script.”
Fredrik Svahnberg marketing and communications manager at Dataton says “The opera world is sometimes perceived as being rather conservative but with this production of Cinderella we have shown that our technologies can really enhance even the most traditional of musical scores. Thanks to WatchOut performers can move from conventional ‘scenic’ space into a world that is more akin to virtual reality – bringing the production to spectacular new life and providing an unforgettable experience for the audience.” After seeing the première of Cinderella in October this year the renowned Moscow art critic Lejla Guchmazova wrote: “Huge physical scenery and the enormous work needed to manoeuvre it are no longer necessary. Computer animation is bringing about a metamorphosis in the world of theatre that is truly fascinating.” 
Gerasimenko says “We live in a technological century in which the virtual world exists in parallel with the real. It’s impossible to stand still – you have to try to develop and embrace new things. A fairytale world should vary instantly and with the application of computer animation this is easy to achieve. The result we hope is a production of constant wonder and transformation.”