Starting this Tuesday, the artist Jaume Plensa opens a “window” in the dome of the Main Hall of the Teatro Real to the “wonderful” ‘Heaven’ of Madrid, thanks to a projection of the Madrid sky that can be seen before each performance and in the intermission.
This was announced this Monday by the cultural institution, in a press conference in which the president of the Teatro Real, Gregorio Marañón, participated; the versatile artist Jaume Plensa; and the patron Juan Antonio Pérez Simón.
The project, titled ‘Heaven’, can be enjoyed for the first time in the central tondo of the theater before the first performance of the 2023/2024 season begins this Tuesday, ‘Medea’, by Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842), with the presence of Kings Felipe VI and Letizia.
“We have filmed the sky of Madrid from the roof of the theater. I believe that if there is something wonderful about Madrid, it is its sky and it seemed essential to me to open the theater to that sky,” explained Plensa after presenting the project to the press, who responded to the projection with “silence”. That same reaction is what the artist hopes to provoke in the viewer, as he has confessed, and prepare him to enjoy the opera he is about to see.
PAINT, BUT NOT WITH PAINTS
In this way, both the spectators of the Teatro Real and all those who visit the venue will be able to contemplate the sky of Madrid from inside the Main Hall. “It seemed important to me that in the 21st century we could paint, but not with paintings, something as classic as the heavens that decorate the great domes in theaters and palaces. We were only missing the angels, but I think this is in our heads,” said the Catalan artist, who has confessed that this project has been like a “dream.”
Each projection, lasting about 20 minutes, will show a moving sky that evolves in both light and color depending on the different times of the day. To do this, seven different ‘clips’ have been recorded, in high resolution (4K) during three days last June. “I liked that the theater opened its windows and its doors to the community of Madrid, to the people who live here,” he declared.
During the presentation of the work, the president of the Teatro Real, Gregorio Marañón, explained that the idea of this project arose in 2007, a time when the Real had considered putting together a collection of “relevant” contemporary art, which finally was not carried out. “It was not done because the time was not right. We were at the beginning of the very serious crisis of 2008. I think it would have been a mistake,” he stated.
“Today everything is much clearer. The theater has a recognized profile and a very clear heritage entity,” said Marañón, who believes that “this work, ‘Cielo’, makes perfect sense. It is an open window.” Thus, the president of the Teatro Real has thanked Jaume Plensa for his “perseverance” and the “generosity” with which he has approached the final result.
The artist has had the collaboration of the theater’s technical teams, headed by Natalia Camacho and Celeste Carrasco; and Juana Jiménez, in the film’s photography direction. Post-production and color have been carried out by Luciérnaga Color; the installation of the projectors by Cinemanext, and the technical mapping study by Yoic Lambert.
“I have always been nostalgic for my country. When I returned from Mexico to Spain as an adult I could appreciate the true dimension of its artistic wealth and I verified that the skies of Sorolla and Velázquez were real, authentic, as are the ones we can contemplate from now on at the Teatro Real thanks to Jaume Plensa”, declared Juan Antonio Pérez Simón.