From 10 to 14 May at the Palaolimpico in Turin there is Eurovision Song Contest. A macro musical event that "speaks" through the set design.
The sun inside is the title that the set designer Francesca Montinaro gave to her scenographic project. It is a work that starts from a spectacular and grandiose idea of Italian: beauty, the Italian vocation to reproduce it and re-launch it in every way through creativity.
And the constant company of a generous nature for harmony and variety: the sea that surrounds it, the sun, the good life. Francesca Montinaro spoke with Interni about a aese/stage, which inspires a wealth of languages thanks to its history, its art and its architecture.
So we start from here to design a scenography for a musical event?
When I talk about beauty and abundance, I am talking about all of us, about an Italy that offers continuous inspiration. I lived in Milan a few years ago and I got into the habit of spending part of the weekend reading the newspaper on the roof of the Duomo. It was probably a lot less crowded than it is today.
From there it seemed to me that I was looking at the Italy of the future, a country that builds, that grows, capable of planning and of great creativity that conveys beauty and extraordinary skills. There is the possibility to change and evolve, not to remain tied to the present or the past.
Does the sun inside come from a Milanese memory?
After two difficult years there is a need to celebrate. From the Duomo you can see the Italy that will be and it is with that open view of the sky that I decided to open the presentation to the competition of ideas for Eurovision. The sky cannot be confined. I said to myself: let's start from here.
About the competition: twelve days to come up with a concept that also includes the area later called the Green Room and intended to accommodate the waiting artists. How does it work in these cases?
The concept competition lasted 12 days and the request was to produce a series of visual materials and to design the identity of the event.
The theme was: "to represent Italian beauty". Concretely, I decided to use time in a pragmatic way: 2 days of reflection and design brainstorming, 5 days of construction of the scenographic grounding, 5 days to choose how to formalize the material produced between sketches, renders and animations. And obviously build a business plan.
It was a wonderful experience thanks to a close-knit and high-level team (only six people). And thanks also to the strength of the experience in this type of projects (Francesca Montanari, among other things was also the set designer of Sanremo 2013 and 2019, the first woman to receive the post).
We won. The idea is to represent Italy through its geographical nomenclature, surrounded by water and open to the relationships that have given life to our complexity cultural.
From the idea to the final result: can you tell me how to get to a set in which art, technology and engineering participate to create the spectacular event?
The concrete scenographic work is done in a team. I have a cross curriculum, I have always worked in a multidisciplinary and not very decorative way.
The scenography is intrinsically the union of many worlds. In this case we are talking about a project that is also a communication concept. The parterre of people who selected The sun within was made up of nine people, including the two directors (Duccio Forzano and Cristian Biondani) and the director of photography.
Then when you begin to build the scenography, you are first of all confronted with the medium. Interaction and immersion are very important in the case of musical events, the experience is first of all designed. Here there is a twofold design mode: when you work for television you already see through the camera lens. You already think that every space will be framed and an infinite number of points of view will be added.
The exciting thing is working with two amazing directors, a great stimulus to find intelligent and collaborative solutions from a technical and creative point of view.
What is the Eurovision 2022 set design?
In big musical events the most important thing is space. And it is the scene itself that becomes space and not just a background. For the "kinetic sun", the focal element of the Eurovision 2022 scenography (here the technical description), I worked a lot with the director of photography: we dared.
The "sun kinetic" is made up of the rays and movements of light. It is an architecture of shadows that constructs the sense of perspective: after all, it was Italian artists and architects who theorized perspective. It is a founding element of our culture.
And there is also a part of the project intended to involve the physically present public...
The audience of the Palaolimpico is immersed in a scenography in which invisible elements also participate. The sound of the water (the project foresees the presence of a real waterfall on the sides of the stage), its smell. And then the garden of the Green Room, made with aromatic plants.
So there is also the perfume. It is a project in which abundance is made up of simple things: light, scents, sounds of natural elements. An alchemy that, once again, speaks of Italy.