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Blog entries posted during January 2012

Simon Boccanegra Action Benches

When an onstage action requires a specialty object, it is the job of the props department to create whatever is required.

This past week, members of our stage crew have been busy in our theater’s scene shop constructing four new benches for Simon Boccanegra. These new benches will function as ‘stunt-doubles’ to sustain the abuse of being tossed around in the choreographed action during the Council Chamber fight scene.

Los Angeles Opera Technical Department Simon Boccanegra Props

Custom aluminum castings and turned leg fixtures

Each bench has over one hundred and fifty individual components made from a variety of materials including custom aluminum castings, turned leg fixtures, raw pine materials, and ornamental details improvised from bits of rope, egg and dart molding, wooden appliqués and large upholstery tacks.

Simon Boccanegra Props Los Angeles Opera

Stage Technician adds final decorative elements

After the props department completes the construction, the benches are delivered to the scenic department for painting and surface treatment. The performers will then use these benches in the rehearsal hall and onstage for the production.


LA Opera Tech Department Simon Boccanegra props

The finished benches ready for use onstage

Simon Boccanegra Scenery Load-in on January 24

Here in the Tech Department we are always excited on “load-in” day. This is the day when the scenery and props arrive at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and are moved into the backstage area of the theater.

The Simon Boccanegra scenery traveled to Los Angeles from London’s Royal Opera House via ocean freight in five (5) forty-foot shipping containers. The route from the UK to Los Angeles included a sailing through the Panama Canal. The total distance traveled was 5500 miles with a transit time of about 30 days.

After the arrival in the Port of Los Angeles, the containers were trucked to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and unloaded by a union (IATSE 33) stage crew. The unloading of the containers was completed in one day and the assembly of the set will be completed in three days. For Simon Boccanegra, by the fourth or fifth day we are focusing hundreds of stage lighting instruments. By the evening of day six, we will be ready to begin stage rehearsals.

Los Angeles Opera Simon Boccanegra theatrical scenery  LA Opera carpenters stage crew

LA Opera stage carpenters unloading structural scenery elements for Simon Boccanegra

You can see more photos from the Simon Boccanegra load-in on the LAO Facebook page.