I love “Marat”, the gaudy, over-the-top, almost grotesque stage built for the 2011 Bregenz Opera Festival in Austria. Designed by David Fielding, under the direction of David Pountney, the construction is based on the famous painting “The Death of Marat” by Jacques-Louis David. To me this stage, instead of serving solely as a backdrop for productions, embodies the craft of theater. The volume, inflection, gestures, costumes, and make up that are the hallmark of theatre – and especially opera – are larger-than-life, and would be positively annoying in, say, your living room. However, from a distance, and under harsh stage lights, it all fits perfectly.
The question is, even from a distance, and under harsh stage lights, does “Marat” fit perfectly? Or is it perfectly unfitting? What say ye?