— At the Festival

Published on March 20 2019


Ateliers de Venelles - Construction des décors - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2019
© Jean-Claude Carbonne
The Aix Festival is to publish the first METHODOLOGICAL GUIDE TO THE ECO-DESIGN OF SETS. Pre-empting the recommendations of the ministerial strategy for sustainable development of the Ministry of Culture which “encourages an eco-design approach in stage productions and cultural manifestations”. In 2014, the Aix Festival launched an initiative based on the research and development on the eco-design of sets. This initiative was subsequently accompanied by the Pôle éco-design with the support of the ADEME and of the Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur.

The ambition of the Festival: to build the first opera set 100% eco-designed.  The objective was reached in 2017, in only three years, with the set of Carmen, built in Aix without polystyrene, by applying new building processes and in close cooperation with the stage director Dmitri Tchemiakov.

Following this success, the Aix Festival wished to share its experience and is publishing this year, a methodological guide for the intention of stage professionals designing or hosting sets. This utensil, will propose to all those who work in the performing arts, whether they be stage directors, set builders, stagehands or coproducers, the actions to put into place at each stage of the life cycle of a set. These actions are the result of the accompanying work carried out by the  Festival d’Aix-en-Provence: methodologies, research and development work carried out by the Bureau d’études and the Festival’s workshops, work laboratories organised with around forty regional and national cultural structures. The action index cards are thus filled with details from the creation of the opera up until the end of the life cycle of the set and illustrated with concrete examples. The route taken by this utensil is an interactive one and allows for direct access to the action index cards as well as their annexes. 

This practical guide enables a better understanding of the financial, environmental and human issues linked to the production of an opera set, involving all the partners and all concerned parties who come into play in the production of sets and to transmit to them a skill, to mobilise all of the protagonists to multiply the effects and to make substantial economies. Its vocation is to open up and enrich thanks to the sharing of the approach with numerous other opera houses and theatres.