Oft-controversial British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor has designed another stage set, this time for the English National Opera’s production of Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner. Opening Sunday, June 26 and running through Saturday, July 9, the epic drama tells the tragic story of Princess Isolde and her lover Tristan, a knight, in three acts staged on Kapoor’s moody, abstract sets.
The sets change each act, from huge triangular panels that, when joined, are meant to evoke the sails of a ship, to a grey structure that looks like craggy stones on a cliffside. Kapoor also designed the striking lighting scheme, which transforms the sets from cold grey, to royal blue, to blood red.
Kapoor got the idea while watching a revival of Christof Loy’s take at the Royal Opera, telling the Guardian:
That production made me think: How do you make two perfectly ordinary human beings superhuman? They could all be on stilts. Or one can put them in situations which speak to their heroic nature. That’s what I’ve tried to do. That is what making a set for opera is all about—encouraging one to suspend disbelief, or rather encouraging belief in the unbelievable.
Take a peek at the dramatic sets below and imagine being the star of your own tragic romance.