In a move towards creating opera in a more sustainable way, La Monnaie together with four French opera houses and festivals is launching a research and development project designed to standardise set components.
La Monnaie is part of the ‘Collectif de 17h25’ along with the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Opéra de Paris and the Opéra de Lyon. The collective’s ambition is to make the practice of creating opera more sustainable through deep and reflective thought, innovation and sharing everyone’s best practices on as wide a scale as possible.
By way of example, the latest initiative is a study of the possibilities for standardizing structural set components. The technical departments of the five houses, which were already involved in individual ecological design initiatives, are now working to develop and promote the use of standardized components (not visible to the audience) and also support structures for set components (visible to the audience).
The main objective of this project is to reduce the carbon footprint resulting from the manufacture and transportation of the staple components, but there are other objectives too:
- reducing the use of resources by reusing the same structures;
- reducing the amount of waste generated when building and rebuilding sets;
- reducing the volume of storage required;
- reducing the volumes and bulk requiring transportation in co-productions (the standard components remain in each house)
- reducing financial outlay on sets.
This innovative research and development project will go through four different stages over the next three years. Firstly, a sectoral analysis of existing practices and solutions to refine the definition of the anticipated outcomes. This will be followed by a design and prototype phase, the actual production of the developed and retained components and finally a general evaluation of the approach.