275 Years State Opera Unter den Linden, Berlin
After 7 years of renovation of the opera house, we had the honor to create a projection mapping for the official reopening on October 3, 2017. Already at the first appointment in Berlin, we realized the scope of this unique possibility.
The basis for all animations should have been a 3D scan of the facade. However, this was almost completely scaffolded, which made it necessary to replicate the 95-meter-long facade virtually exactly according to plans of the architects and photos.
Preparation of the story
The bow stretched from the idea of King Frederick II to build an opera house at the new Forum Fridericianum to exemplary historic landmarks such as the alterations of the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the present day. Both the destruction of the building caused by fire and the effects of the war were presented, as well as the rebuildings and modernizations, which took place in their last chapter for now in the reopening.Overwhelmed by the long history, we first worked on the building history of the building itself that has undergone several conversions in its history in order to interlock it in the further course of the research in the storyboard with political upheavals and stylistic epochs of the last 300 years. Likewise, the main events had to be included in the projection, e.g. the opera burned down completely in 1843, was subsequently provided with fire stairs and changed so many times its appearance. Also, the construction of the upper and lower machinery and the world-famous so-called "Schinkel sky" should be cited in the show visually. Two world wars, the GDR and the years in the Schiller Theater were also on the wish list of the opera management. We had soon found a clear line with the help of the great music and in collaboration with the opera dramaturge Dr. Detlef Giese.
The idea of making the protagonists of the operas appear on the façade brought us to the studio in Berlin with the actors of the Staatsoper and their original costumes. There we shot for two days the scenes, which should be mounted later into the animations. The goal was for the characters to connect naturally with the facade, interact with it in part, and trigger various animation events.
A mapping may look great, but it gets refined only with the right mix of sound and image. In this case, our sound designer Andreas Usenbenz had the very grateful task of ,apart from the great opera music, breathing even more life into the animations through a very special sound mix. Partly he created completely new sounds, for example to make a bridge that grows towards the audience acoustically tangible.
One of the biggest challenges of this production was, in addition to limited time and the abundance of historical background, to create the balance between the need to present a show with sufficient impact for the audience and on the other hand to achieve historical accuracy.
Here`s the "Making Off" and "Behind the Scenes".