Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Douglas Fitch Designs Operas

Douglas Fitch (left) designed a production for the Los Angeles Opera production of "Hansel and Gretel" (right) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles which was so powerful it has been called a triumph of design over content. One reviewer said that there are times when what is happening visually is so interesting you forget to pay attention to the singers.

Doug Fitch has worked in media ranging from architecture and opera to puppetry. At Tanglewood he designed and directed Elliott Carter’s only opera, What Next? , in a production conducted by James Levine. He has designed and staged productions of Puccini’s Turandot for the Santa Fe Opera; Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for the Los Angeles Opera; Wagner’s Das Rheingold for the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic; and Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for Tanglewood, as well as several productions for the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at the Kennedy Center. At Bard College he created a double-bill for soprano Dawn Upshaw of Four Saints in Three Acts and the world premiere of A Bird in Your Ear, by David Bruce. At Wolf Trap, for the NSO, he staged a version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, with light, shadow, a single dancer, and a child narrator. Mr. Fitch’s work in concert-theater rekindled a childhood interest in puppetry now finding form as a live-filmed and projected miniature theater of moving pictures. The first production using this technique was with the New York Philharmonic in May 2005 in Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale, featuring violinist Pinchas Zukerman, and actors F. Murray Abraham and Marian Seldes, conducted by Xian Zhang.

To get an idea of his particular design influences click on the heading above to see an excerpt from the 1953 film "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" by none other than Dr. Seuss. Fitch says that seeing that movie as a young child profoundly influenced his visual sensibilities.

No comments: