Stage Direction + Set Design
(Dress Rehearsals in Porto “Super Bock Arena” and Lisbon “Altice Arena”. )
Set Design Sketches & Imagery
Musical Theatre | The Sound of Music | Semi-staged concert
Music > Richard Rodgers | Lyrics > Oscar Hammerstein II | Book > Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse | Basis > “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp | Translation > Cláudio Botelho | European Portuguese Adaptation > Filomena Lameiras, Pedro Ribeiro | Stage Director & Set Designer > Pedro Ribeiro | Music Director > Paulo Pires | Choreographer > Sofia Loureiro | Chorus > Coro Feminino do Conservatorio Vale do Sousa, Silvio Cortez | Cast > Sofia Escobar, Ana Capote, Inês Soares, Ana Marta Kaufmann, Patrícia Quinta, Joana Amorim, Jorge Corrula, Mário Redondo, Bruno Bernardo, Alda Machado, Sílvia Mirpuri, Diogo Morgado, Marta Ribeiro, Francisco Úngaro, Leonor Ferreira, Clara Oliveira, Carolina Santos, António Pedro Ferreira, Mariana Fontaínhas, Mariana Fontaínhas, Frederica Jacques, Leonor Miranda, Mafalda Neiva, Pedro Rodrigues, Manuela Couto, Virgilio Castelo, Filipe Silva, Marlene Meireles, Pedro Almeida | Lighting & Sound > Pixellight audiovisuals | Production > Armando Calado Prod. | Super Bock Arena (Pav Rosa Mota) – Porto & Altice Arena – Lisbon, PTG | © Images by Susana Neves; Paulo Sabino & Rafaela do Valle | 2022
There’s no musical ingrained in our memory as much as “The Sound of Music”. Christmas spent watching the movie and humming the songs at school and in choirs are part of my childhood. Nothing can replace our story with this work, nor our vision of it. It should be noted that the famous 1965 film with Julie Andrews adapted the stage musical, and not the other way around, this musical was not created after the film. The show you will see today is the original work from 1959 with the musical numbers in the place where they were written for and with the complete stage dialogues.
The challenge for me is how do I transfer such a personal imagery about a story to a new show in 2022 that can appeal to everyone? 63 years have passed since the writing of this work and the way of thinking, reacting, dressing, observing, have changed with the times. We cannot ignore that the role of women in society has changed, the balance of family roles has evolved, and we have to congratulate ourselves for that. There are so many positive things in the evolution of the human being but at the same time we reread this musical and a shiver arrives. How does the human being evolve and at the same time go backwards and fall into the same mistakes? Why does this vicious cycle of domination over another human being turns us into war machines? What is the von Trapp family if not refugees from a “peaceful” annexation? If this musical takes us back to moments of family happiness and joy, let it also be a reminder that what is happening today is not a distant problem in another country, but also our own. Let it serve as a lesson for those who see it for the first time. Our freedom is never guaranteed and its only protection are our own individual actions.
A “semi-staged concert” version gives us the freedom to focus the story on an overall aesthetic goal and interpretation. Out stay the large scenarios of mansions and convents, exuberant or funny clothes. The story is clearer, there’s no place for the actor to hide, everything is in plain sight. Thus arises the idea of challenging artists with a professional path in straight theatre to do a musical for the first time. The characters of Max (Virgílio Castelo) and Elsa (Manuela Couto) are the representation of an Austria that doesn’t care much about the Nazi annexation / they don’t want to make enemies, but friends. The Captain (Jorge Corrula) plays the Austrian minority against annexation and who tried to row against the tides. These three characters saw their political role reduced in the film, but in the stage version they are extremely important for understanding the social situation of the 1938 Anschluss. The aesthetic objective then intends to function as an “empty space” that, with the help of the performer, is transformed by our power to imagine. Could it be a landscape of hills “that are alive with the sound of the orchestra”, or the curve of a guitar that produces sound, or even sound waves… or is it a sofa, a table, a door, a bed… Then the challenge of theater happens – to provoke the activation of our imagination.
By Pedro Ribeiro
“A timeless classic that brings back love during wartime” – INTERVIEW | Diario de Noticias Newspaper
“After Porto’s presentation, this was the time for the national production of “The Sound of Music” to conquer Lisbon too. (…) The set was sober and well crafted. Structures simulated hills and projections identified the places where the action took place: the church, the garden, the house (…) Everyone who attended the show (…) found here an experience free of artifices, which valued the artists interpretation ”. | Vania Marecos > CHMagazine