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Vivien Hewitt's vision for Tosca 2018
The Power of Authenticity 

Vivien Hewitt Biography 1Beauty, harmony, elegance and emotional intensity are the key features I aim to bring to my stage work. I like to communicate a sense of the epic dimension of every human life.

My objective is to get under the skin of an opera and to combine music, text, visual imagery, lighting climate, gesture, action and interaction in a symbiotic way that deliver a powerful and authentically holistic experience for the public.

I see tradition as a precious resource to be carefully conserved and explored with love and attention, offering an essential departure point for every exciting journey into new artistic expression.

Enthusiasm and a keen commitment to bringing out the essence of an opera are the qualities I put at the service of opera theatre.


Vivien Hewitt Biography 2Tradition and innovation: research and new creativity go hand in hand.
I am eclectic by nature and enjoy working in different styles and with different types of design teams. Madama Butterfly, which has toured three continents, was developed with famous Japanese sculptor Kan Yasuda and Florence fashion designer Regina Schrecker.

Puccini's Edgar, created for the Puccini 150th anniversary, has magical fantasy sets and costumes by famous illustrator and record cover designer Roger Dean of Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd fame.

My recent traditional staging of Il Barbiere di Seviglia in Rome's Teatro Argentina, made on a small budget for a young artists project, has traditional painted cloths and backdrops by talented Italian designer Salvatore Liistro. My production coordination and costume design work on Gianni Schicchi, Il Campanello and Rigoletto alongside distinguished baritone and director Rolando Panerai at the Teatro Carlo a Felice in Genoa, involved re-managing old scenic materials to create new sets as well as producing high specification new costumes on very tight budgets.

I see the virtuous recycling of existing production material and the use of innovative low-cost textiles as a stimulating challenge, provided that it allows for coherent and winning artistic choices. Every story can be told in a variety of ways that are completely involving for both public and performers: the vital objective is to retain dramatic integrity while exploring the diverse facets and intentions of composer and librettist.

Vivien Hewitt Biography 4Research is an important part of my work as I am a theatre historian by profession. I dedicate a lot of time and energy to discovering as much as I can about the genesis of the libretto and the music, the iconography of the opera and the period and place it is set in, even if I know that I am sometimes going to filter tradition through a looking glass. I believe that knowing an opera inside out, tuning into its inner vibrations and creating a synthesis of its historical context, can be exciting and innovative. Authenticity can be breathtaking when you immerse yourself in a work in order to reveal it in a poetic, dynamic and uncluttered way.

I am interested in biodynamics and the physiological aspects of how the voice can be enhanced by posture and movement. I therefore embrace recent scientific studies that suggest that traditional operatic gesture was, and is, functional to voice production.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is drawing out strong, natural acting from singers while retaining empowering dynamic stance and movement that puts them in the flow, creating a oneness between music and dramaturgy that allows them and the public tune into the energy field of the drama as it unfolds before them.

Vivien Hewitt.

 

2018.10.13 Tosca Event IconVivien Hewitt Icon

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