23 September at the Victoria & Albert Museum a day in the company of scenographers, costume designers & lighting designers
London launch of the first edition of theInternational Festival of Scenic Arts Designing for opera and musical performance: linking memory and innovation
The prestigious V&A museum in London was chosen to host the launch of the first edition of the International Festival of Scenic Arts, an international event celebrating contemporary stage, set and costume design, organised by The Scenographer magazine in collaboration with a number of leading European universities and their respective faculties of architecture and design.
The world's largest museum of design and decorative arts played host to a series of talks and presentations by world-class design practitioners the calibre of William Dudley stage and costume designer, video designer and 3D animator; lighting designers Rick Fisher and John Pascoe theatre director, stage and costume designer; Adam Pollockimpresario andtheatre designer; David Pountney theatre and opera director, artistic director of Bregenz Festival, and Jonathan Kentproducer, theatre director. From Italy, we were proud to welcome the multi-award-winning scenographer Ezio Frigerio and costume designer Franca Squarciapino.
Designing for opera and musical performance: linking memory and innovation was the theme chosen by the Festival organisers: "We wanted to focus on opera and musical performance, drawing creative and technical realities with the day dedicated to examining the fusion of traditional methods of a purely classical bent with those orientated towards experimentation, that make broad use of multimedia and computerised technologies. A day in the company of a group of award-winning professionals of international acclaim: scenographers, costume designers and lighting designers. An event at the forefront of the developing dialogue between conventional and modern approaches to design, addressed by highly experienced designers and technicians who presented audio-visual examples of recent projects”
Tribute to Maria Bjornson
Part of the day was devoted to Maria Bjornson, stage and costume designer for theatre and opera. Her career was discussed by her friend and authority on her work, the impresario and theatre designer Adam Pollock. Theatre directors David Pountney and Jonathan Kent joined him on stage to pay tribute to Ms. Bjornson, widely considered by critics to be one of the most important contemporary stage and costume designers at an international level before her untimely demise in December 2002, at the age of 53. She is best known for her iconic sets and costumes for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera. The production has been running for over 20 years and has been seen by over 100 million people in 21 countries worldwide.