Cover image: © Atelier Francesca Montinaro
The Eurovision 2022 stage: the beauty behind the scenes
From 10 to 14 May 2022, the great show of the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Turin. The event, organized by Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana
, took place at the Pala Alpitour, a multifunctional center designed in 2003 by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, in view of the 2006 Winter Olympics. to the public entertainment, today represents for the Savoy city, the reference point for large-scale events and concerts.
The theme of this edition, "The sound of beauty", seems to fit perfectly in Italy, a country steeped in that beauty that is particularly needed in a historical period like this. And to translate this same beauty into a concrete work was the Atelier Francesca Montinaro
, winner of the competition of ideas organized by Rai. In fact, with a stage made of light, beauty and strength, characterized by the fulcrum of the kinetic sun, the Atelier's team of professionals gave us great emotions.
But what about the naked and raw aspect of that scene which had to find concrete form and material in order to reveal itself to the public?
I talk about it with Alfredo De Luca
, set designer of the Francesca Montinaro Atelier, ready to answer all my questions with professionalism.
- How does the creation of a stage for large events like this work and what are the methods used to translate the artist's concept into matter?
Rai, which produced the whole event, launched an ideas competition in which we participated and which we won with what would have been the concept that would have accompanied our design process up to the first broadcast. The creative process
saw us develop the main idea and then give shape to a preliminary project made up of plans, elevations, sections and photographs, just like they usually do in an architectural project.
Subsequently, Rai identified, through a public tender, the company that would be responsible for the construction. In this second phase, our Atelier interfaced with each individual supplier and with the relevant professionals to study the methods that would have allowed the transformation of the preliminary project into a real built object.
Our task was twofold: transforming the abstract idea into a concrete work but also coordinating and making the different companies interact with each other, since there are elements of the scene that involve multiple suppliers. A relevant example is the sun
which, in addition to representing the main concept
of the project, is a stage machine
made up of moving heads. This is the most complex element of the scenography, characterized by multiple components that must match perfectly.
The sun within - © Atelier Francesca Montinaro
Eurovision stage model - © Atelier Francesca Montinaro
Render of the stage - © Atelier Francesca Montinaro
- Who are the operators in charge of setting up the stage?
In these two months we have worked with many professionals belonging to the various companies involved. Some of them dealt with the scenography
and all the elements that made it up, others with photography
and the technical set-up relating to the insertion of the trusses in the upper part of the building. Specifically, we were constantly confronted with the director of photography who decides how to light the scene, in order to make everything work at its best. In addition, we dealt with the camera plans because our scenography project also included the appearance of the cameras and it was necessary to understand with them where they should be positioned. In fact, the complexity of Eurovision lies in its dual nature which sees it as a great concert and at the same time a television program. For this reason, the comparison with all the operators is even more important for the construction of the scene.
- What are the stages of stage assembly and their timing?
There are ordinary phases due to practical reasons, others agreed in advance for the type of scene. The first step involves the companies that deal with hangings: for a few days the whole building is crowded with wires and American-height trusses. For this reason, before letting the operators proceed, we decided to hoist the pole of the sun. This choice was dictated both by the fact that it would have been impossible to proceed with this operation with the pylons lowered and also because the sun
is the reference point, the fulcrum of the whole scene
. This is not only a very important element from a conceptual and design point of view but also from a practical point of view. In fact, once that center was defined, we took all the measures from there. Also because to verify the actual functioning of the scene, which until then was contained in a concept, lifting the pole was a necessary choice. So we positioned the pole about 11 meters high and built in 2 sections, then moved on to the hangers and only when these two phases were completed did the construction of the whole scene begin. For this, we started from the substructure of the main stage, all made of layher and metal carpentry. Once the structure was completed, we took care of the joinery parts and the finishing touches.
The second phase involved setting up the Green Room
, imagined starting from the center of the sun, moving around the stage and moving away towards the opposite side of the parterre. After positioning the walkways and the sofas, one of the last operations involved the insertion of real plants, kept luxuriant by pruning, in order to have them healthy and beautiful until the end of the event.
As for the timing, it took us an abundant month and a half to set up the main stage.
Preparation of the Eurovision stage - © Atelier Francesca Montinaro
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