a round matter
Who hasn’t experienced it yet, when everything is focused on one idea? Once the same thoughts have been turned round and around again – the vision becomes a reality. We’ll introduce you to some creative heads who give us examples for that: they are passionate about round things: whether it’s the basket for basketball, a ring smithy, touring bikes or a rounded stage production.
Opening doors to the third dimension
Questions to Hank Irwin Kittel – scene and costume designer and property master at the Erfurt Theatre
Scenes and props are the third dimension for theatre and opera. What does it mean for you personally, to dress old pieces in modern clothes?
It is an often overlooked fact, especially true for operas, that many of them were contemporary pieces, like La Traviata, Don Giovanni,La Bohème. These operas are set in the times that they were written in. Therefore, it suggests itself to transfer these pieces into our days, seeing as most of the subjects that are dealt with are timeless, like love, jealousy, death, war, suffering, etc. They are as relevant today as they were then.
Erfurt has a lot of faces: it is the district capital, cathedral city, garden and flower city and will probably be given UNESCO world heritage status, soon. Does this variety offer some inspiration for you?
Erfurt citizen by choice, I love the city’s well-restored and diverse facades and little lanes. Nowadays, this might be a world that’s a bit too self-absorbed and sleepy, but still full of history and glory. I enjoy the quietness and relaxation when I’m working here, inspiration for happiness in a cosy corner. I bring back inspirations from the big wide world, when I’m travelling for my work, from Cape Town to Shanghai, from New York to Yekaterinburg.
What was the biggest challenge for you, when your thoughts were going around in circles, in your head? And what brilliant solution did you find, eventually?
Cavalleria Rustica on the Cathedral steps, in 2007! The director Guy Montavon wanted the Cathedral steps empty for this production. It took me weeks to find a solution for this seeming contradiction: to make a statement without any objects. One day, a crumpled little Italian picture of a saint fell out of one of my books. And then I had the answer: That’s it. That’s the world these Italian villagers live in. Thus, I wallpapered the Cathedral steps with those little pictures: an empty stage full of Italian sentimentality.
2019 Festival on the Cathedral steps with the world premiere of "The Name of the Rose" Musical