The Fantastic Symphony was initially conceived as a piece exclusively for orchestra, without any kind of staging. Berlioz’s work revolves around a young musician of an extremely sensitive nature who suffers from an unrequited love and who decides to kill himself by taking opium. The drug does not prove fatal, however, but provokes in him a series of visions and sensations which, mixed with his memories and feelings, end up becoming music. His beloved wife becomes a melody, a fixed idea which the young musician hears all around him.
Using this undeniably romantic tale as its base, and letting their imagination run riot, La Fura dels Baus designed a staging wich scrupulously respects the structure of Berlioz’s piece and aims to provide a visual accompaniment to the music, without getting in the way of a piece that was only designed to be heard. In one sense, the staging can be seen as an extended music video, both fantastic and dreamlike, based on the five movements of the symphony, and which combines Berlioz’s life story with the tale which was the starting point for this musical composition.
For a company like the Fura, which has always pursued its own artistic rhetoric, it was particularly tempting to accept the challenge of visually recreating the images suggested by Berlioz’s composition. It is a piece closely linked to opium, to an artist sick with love, to a continuous hallucination that ends up becoming an obsession.
The final result is a subtle, dream-like adaptation that overcomes the crudeness of the Fura’s language to enter a world closer to calmness than to an eclecticism taken to extremes. It showed what the music suggests, what it arouses in our imagination, aware that a work like the Fantastic Symphony can take many forms and it is in its capacity for transformation that its greatness lies.
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869).
Pep Gatell (La Fura dels Baus).
Jean-Claude Casadesus, Olivier Holt, Vladimir Valék.
Jordi Joaquim Recort
Diseño de iluminación
Ayudante de dirección
Jaume Cumplido, Pilar López.
Beltza, Roberto Villalón.
Diseño de producción
Técnico de iluminación
Técnicos de vídeo
Joan Rodón, David Larrull (BAF).
Peti qui peti
Boris Espuny, Isaac Flix, Isidre Jané, Pulgui.
Vidi Vidal, Ramón Tarés, Tatín, Iván Altamira, Neus Quimas, Antonio Allende, Glòria Ràmia, David Climent, Piraña.
Orquesta Filarmónica de Bergen
Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Praga
Orquesta Nacional de Lille
Orquesta del Teatro Massimo
28/6/02, en el Teatro Massimo, Palermo.
Un espectáculo producido por La Fura dels Baus, el Teatro Massimo de Palermo y el Festival Octobre de Normandía.
This staging of Berlioz’s most famous symphony offered three level of simultaneous action: in the foreground, the orchestra; the projects at the back of the set; and the actors, who occupied the stage’s least typical spaces.