Hotel Pro Forma’s staging of Richard Wagner’s early opera Rienzi, Rise and Fall at the National Opera in Riga, opened Riga as European Capital of Culture in 2014.
The story of the rise and fall of the Roman tribune Rienzi, is depicted through opposites: light and dark, order and chaos, volume and loneliness. An earlier visit to The Spanish Riding School in Vienna was the inspiration for the visual concept as a whole, from set design to choreography as well as the fashionable, colorful uniforms.
Painted architecture on light canvasses are suspended from the ceiling in the first act, making space for the grand performances of the people.
A big black box hangs from the ceiling in the second act, threateningly dominating the stage image.
The staging makes use of a choir, soloists, ballet dancers, a boys’ choir and a white horse. The opera ends with the boys’ choir, who enter clad as child soldiers, killing Rienzi for the second time, while the horse, drawn in laser light, transforms into a gun, turns and points out into the theater.
Duration 140 min. incl. intermission