The Philadelphia Orchestra has enjoyed some milestone moments over the years with “theater-of-a-concert” presentations—unique multimedia and lighting effects and theatrical elements designed to enhance the concert experience. I’ve been involved in bringing this concept to the Orchestra since the beginning, and I look forward to creating a site-specific fusion of Tosca within the Orchestra’s environment.
For Tosca I proposed a series of collapsible and reusable platforms to sit up and above the Orchestra and connect with the Conductor’s Circle in Verizon Hall.
Act I takes place in the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle. The Conductor’s Circle will be the church with aisles and pews used by a congregation of choirboys, clergy, and Roman citizens.
To visually assist the audience in placing this locale, and the others as well, I envisaged projecting images onto the organ pipes. We decided to use the pipes as a canvas and offer each act a pictorial understanding of locale, as follows:
Act I: Church. Stained glass religious iconography.
Act II: The office of Scarpia, Rome’s chief of police. A map of Rome, which I conceived should bleed once he’s murdered.
Act III: The battlements of Castel Sant’Angelo. The statue that sits atop the castle, Archangel Michael with his sword.