The seventh edition of “Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy” was organized for the first time in collaboration with the Prada Foundation and took place in Milan in December 2021.
Prada Foundation has commissioned 7478 with the design and construction overview of the scenography for the event.
Hosted in the spaces of the Deposito of the Fondazione Museum directly connected to the Tower, the scenography setting has allowed the world’s leading conductor Maestro Riccardo Muti, at the helm of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, to embark on a training project aimed at young conductors and master collaborators on the piano from all over the world.
The public was able to participate in the entire path of rehearsals and concerts focused on Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco opera.
In the Deposito, originally the storage of the former distillery and now used for Prada’s fashion shows location, art installations and events, a series of very tall columns divide the entire space into two huge aisles.
“We have used this specific morphology of the space to our advantage, allocating in each aisle one specific program for the event.
On one side the stage for the orchestra and on the other side the stands for the audience” says Federico Pompignoli, funding partner of 7478 who has previously been working as lead architect at OMA/Rem Koolhaas during the Fondazione Museum project.
While the audience racks are designed as two rigorous rectangular inclined planes, the stage has instead a more sculptural, angular, radial plan with the three choirs “peninsulas” interconnected by the orchestra stage.
The whole scenography occupies three quarters of the Deposito and is located to the furthest end from the Tower’s entrance creating a “respect” distance that functions as natural foyer for the audience.
Federico Pompignoli: “While the scenography is functioning transversally within the monumental space as the public looks at the stage through the colonnade, you actually approach it in a longitudinal way coming from the tower.
This has led us to the idea of a series of tall screens conceived as solidified curtain drapes that are a stenographic backdrop, the functional backstage circulation for the orchestra and the choir as well as an acoustic performing surface.”
Moreover, 7478 emphasizes the insertion of the scenography within the raw materiality of Deposito, with its concrete and red painted steel, choosing a strongly contrasting soft atmosphere by use of velvets and olive-green theater chairs.
Federico Pompignoli, Alessandro De Santis, Gianluca Ramaccia, Georgios Kazanakis, Jose Miguel Echaide Aquino