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The string puller

Nothing happens at the Deutsche Oper Berlin without his say-so. Uwe Arsand is master of stage machinery and rigging. With the RING he’s exceeding his own high standards

Das Rheingold
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Director: Stefan Herheim
With Derek Welton, Joel Allison, Robert Watson, Thomas Blondelle, Markus Brück, Ya-Chung Huang, Andrew Harris, Tobias Kehrer, Annika Schlicht, Judit Kutasi et al. 
Premiere on 12 June 2021

»With our last RING production the papers reported that 30 juggernauts were needed to transport the sets. Back then it was huge – and it’s not going to be any less huge this time. On the stage you’ve essentially got two pieces of equipment: a cloth and a suitcase. That may sound a bit mundane, but it’s true. The suitcase refers to the basic luggage used by a traveller, except that in this instance there are around 2,000 of them, some of them fitted together to form huge structures. The cloth is nothing more than a handkerchief, except this one is 48 metres by 35 metres in area.

For us technicians, too, THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG is different from other operas. There’s no room at the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the stage set to be stored between performances, so we have to truck it back to our depot in Beelitz-Buchholz.

I see the RING as my culminating assignment after 15 years working for the opera house. I’ve been involved in the production of about 80 operas, but nothing like this. It reminds me of the lines from Goethe’s FAUST: ›From heaven to hell via life‹. Theatre is meant to show everything. And that’s what we’re doing here.«

 

Uwe Arsand has worked at some of Berlin’s great theatres including the Schaubühne and the Berliner Ensemble. As Technical Director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin he has been involved in over 80 productions

 

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