Elements of the extraordinary abound in every existence, but to find fodder enough for a movie, or stage show, requires a life well lived and a viewfinder most bold. Fortunately, Czech Nightingale award-winner and film score composer Michal Dvorak, whose credits include The Manor and Love lies Bleeding, found a rich narrative when he began to explore the world of famed Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi.
Drawing from the master violinist’s life, the trajectory of which was a heady dose of fame and fortune followed by death in poverty, Dvorak turned author and producer of Vivaldianno — City of Mirrors. The show is not only a musical treat but also a celebration of the composer’s life in 3D. Ahead of the light and sound show on UAE’s tallest mountain, Jebel Jais, on October 27, Dvorak tells Gulf News tabloid! the idea behind the show and why the spectacular almost didn’t feature Vivaldi at all.
What can the audience expect from Friday’s show?
The show is a blend of contemporary sound, light and stage technique in the frame of a chilling story of the hopes and losses of the musical genius Antonio Vivaldi. The spectacular will assemble a large orchestra to cover classical and art-rock instrumentation on a specially-constructed mountain stage at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. The show features large-format projections in front of, and behind, the performance areas, boasting a complex and sophisticated light design that utilises cutting-edge technologies to create an unequalled 3D musical experience. We have brought together a cast of renowned musicians from all over the world who will be supported by complex imagery and choreography, breathing new life and colour into masterpieces including Vivaldi’s total-recall violin concerti The Four Seasons.
What was the idea behind Vivaldianno — City of Mirrors? What connects you to Antonio Vivaldi’s work?
Vivaldianno is the embodiment of my long-term dream to make an “art-rock” project at the border of art-rock, classics and electronic music. At first, it was just a musical experiment, which has grown over the past 12 years into a large-scale stadium show, at which the concert itself is still the centre. I feel connected to Antonio Vivaldi as his music has a relatively uncomplicated structure, rhythm and a big portion of positive emotions. I consider Vivaldi one of the most positive composers of all time and his life journey, the most interesting. In the show we kept his original scores, we only added an instrumentation that he may use if he had a chance.
Is there any other composer that elicits a similar reaction from you?
The impression of Milos Forman’s Amadeus was so strong that for a while I considered utilising Mozart instead, however, we did not want to be accused of profiting from the fame the film has had, so we decided to go our own way, using the incredible work of Vivaldi.
What were the challenges of putting the show together?
The most difficult was to find the structure of the show and the correlation between music and spoken word. Also to find the way, how the individual characters from the life of Antonio Vivaldi should interfere in the story… Much time was dedicated to synchronisation and searching for ratios as how the colours and lights of the front and back projections should work together to create a unique 3D space for our concert story.
Whilst I wouldn’t say it has been necessarily a challenge, I would say the decision to host this concert at the top of a mountain, in Jebel Jais is definitely a bold move, and I am excited to see the performance come to life on such an iconic landscape for Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE.
Don’t miss it!
The one-night only concert, Vivaldianno — City of Mirrors, will be held at Jebel Jais on October 27. Tickets start at Dh300.