Ján Zavarský’s Opera Scenographies

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The present study aims to describe the work that Ján Zavarský, one of the most prominent contemporary Slovak scenographers, has done for musical theatre, mainly opera. The author draws on her years of experience as an audience member, production recordings, photographs, scene designs, and other documentation. Her study is the first attempt at mapping the language of expression that Zavarský has created in two decades, especially in cooperation with the directors Martin Otava and Karla Štaubertová. First, the author deals with the process of creation of a scenographic proposal in dialogue with a director, which gives rise to a scenographic and directorial concept of a production. It then proceeds to identifying the characteristic features of Zavarský’s approach to opera scenography, which include the architectural concept of the scene, simplicity of expression, formal and colour stylization, and the connection between scenography and the movement of characters on the stage. The study includes a list of Zavarský’s scenographies and photographs documenting the individual features of his work for musical theatre in approximately ten productions.

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