Clear the stage!
From one end of the globe to the other, it’s nothing new for Habasit products to make appearances in unexpected places, but in today’s blog, we will share the story of how our conveyor belts recently made an unprecedented debut at international opera houses. For the opera “Tri Sestri” by Péter Eötvös at the Vienna State Opera, the Nonslip M2623 modular belt found its own roll in the unfolding drama of a masterpiece.
Moving the story forward
The opera hall is darkened. The scenery is somber colors. The stage is illuminated by muted light. Two performers sing a melancholy song. Between them are trees – tall, thin birches move past on three tracks. The singers stand as in a sparse forest; only the scenery itself is moving. The trees move slowly past.
For “Tri Sestri”, the Vienna State Opera wanted a very special production. The stage was always to be in motion. In line with the opera, they wanted to integrate repetitive elements – a conveyor belt was to repeatedly bring objects and performers onto the scene. Habasit’s plastic modular belts were an ideal solution. The creative minds behind the production looked for a reliable partner with high-quality products and the benefits of individual consultation; they found both at Habasit.
A view into the unknown
The light shines on a performer. The floor around him is illuminated. The otherwise monotonous, gray floor suddenly shows a structure. Small elevations become visible. The entire stage has been laid with the nonslip modular belt. The most important feature is the way the grey belt blends perfectly with the landscape. The entire stage floor is covered with the belt material, although only three individual tracks are in motion.
It was this aspect of the moving scenery which had provided the greatest challenge for Habasit engineers. From extensive experience in the industry, they knew the specific conditions and requirements for the successful application of any belt, either in the production of baked goods, the packaging industry or in this case, the stage floor.
For this reason, the Habasit team carefully approached the project and found the right material in the Nonslip M2623 modular belt. When the belt is not being used to carpet a stage, it is often the top choice for manufacturers in the automotive industry. With its anti-static and high-slip resistant qualities, it was the ideal surface for the actors to be able to comfortably and safely move across the stage with bare feet.
The leading role of Habasit
Men in light gray officer uniforms march in step on the moving belts. They wear black, knee-high boots. The floor shakes slightly with each step.
With the production of “Tri Sestri”, Habasit has entered unchartered territory through the realization of artistic aspects of a technical product. The opera consists of three sections that tell the story from different perspectives with reoccurring scenes. The modular belts play a central role in the stage design by transporting objects and performers onto the set so that the interaction between art and technology take center stage.
For Habasit, this first- time interplay of technology and creativity was a promising success. When the curtain fell in Vienna, an encore was already waiting. In autumn 2016, the operetta “Axel an der Himmelstür” will celebrate its premiere at the Vienna Volksoper, once more clearing the stage for Habasit.
See Habasit’s live performance at the Vienna State Opera here: