Magical Stage

Behind the scenes of the Berlin State Opera

With ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’, a courageous new project at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden is being created and we were involved with the camera right from the start. How does opera actually work? What can musicians, directors, stage designers and technicians come up with to conjure up a gripping theatrical event on stage for the audience?

Eric Mayer takes the audience into the workshops, cloakrooms and rehearsal rooms of the Berlin State Opera and lets them experience at first-hand how a rousing total work of art is created from the initial idea and stage sketches in weeks of work. With the whole range of baroque sounds, with magnificent dance and choral scenes, with apparitions of gods, spectacular forces of nature and monsters, Jean-Philippe Rameau’s story of the two lovers Hippolyte and Aricie takes the audience into the realm of the miraculous.

The film shows the struggle behind the scenes for this once so opulent baroque opera, which is now brought onto the stage in a modern way.


WRITER & DIRECTOR: Roland May     CAMERA: Klaus Krieger, Andreas Haas     EDITOR: Nicole Fischer  COMMISSIONING EDITOR: Martin Schneider (ZDF)