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Prop kings take to the opera stage for Carmen

Event construction specialists Staging Rentals & Construction Services brought to life Brian Thomson’s vision for the large props that are craned onto the set mid-show, in the revered Carmen: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

The exact replicas of a WW1 Russian Tank and WW1 Troop Carrier are the centre-piece of the Operatic masterpiece which has received glowing reports from critics and fans.
Photo by James Morgan

The Staging Rentals CAD and event construction team worked closely with Opera Australia, Brian Thomson and choreographer Kellie Addey, to create life-size props from toy-sized models.

CAD Designer Mitchell Dunn developed the process, system and all drawings needed to build the props from scratch. They needed to be strong and safe for the actors and dancers to use during the Opera, under two tonne in weight and withstand being craned in from backstage mid-show for the whole season.

Together with the event construction team, the props were built around a steel frame, with all 3D elements made of wood. The scenic art was also completed in-house in collaboration with the designer at Staging Rentals’ Sydney workshop.

David Comer, managing director, Staging Rentals & Construction Services said the ingenuity of taking a small model to a large scale replica was key to the props enhancing the experience of the Opera.

Photo by James Morgan

“It was important that these props, which lie front and centre to the Opera’s stage, were able to play a key role in bringing Opera Australia’s and Brian Thompson’s creative vision to life.

“They are a testament to the depth of skill and unique talent of the entire construction team at Staging Rentals and our willingness and ability to deliver on challenging and exciting work,” said Comer.


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