Here is an early scene from the production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte which premiered at the beginning of 2016 at the Åbo Svenska Teater in Turku, South West Finland. It shows the prince Tamino arriving on a unknown planet and being attacked by a fearsome creature.
The show’s production team of director John Ramster, designer Bridget Kimak and lighting designer Jake Wiltshire decided to place the show in a retro futuristic world largely based on how artists, designers and advertisers in the 1950’s saw the future. I’ve seen a number of productions of the Magic Flute and though this setting may not be unique it is the first time I have encountered a production set in such an era. The whole production was witty and engaging.
I was asked by the production team to create video sequences for some of the scenes in the second act of the show. In addition the theatre commissioned me to take production photos and design the programme.
Turku is the oldest city in Finland and is situated in the South West corner of the country. For many years it was the capital of Finland but when Sweden ceded Finland to Imperial Russia in 1809 the capital was moved to Helsinki. The ÅST is Finland’s oldest theatre founded in 1839 and Åbo is the Swedish name of the city. The last time we were all here was back in the summer of 2013 for the successful production of Mozart’s the Marriage of Figaro, set in a 1930’s Hollywood film studio. Then we enjoyed long hot Summer days, this time we enjoyed short days, temperatures as low as -25°C and lots of snow that bought a glow to the city.
Below are some more production shots from Die Zauberflöte which was completely sold out before opening night.