Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bringing the Sistine Chapel to life, with the Vatican’s blessing

By Elisabetta Poveledo
The characters of Michelangelo and Pope Julius II in “Universal Judgement.” Credit Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times
The musical merger between the Vatican Museums, the keepers of one of the greatest artistic troves of humanity, and Marco Balich, best known as the designer of over-the-top spectacles — among them the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in 2014, both ceremonies for the Turin Games in 2006 and the 550th anniversary celebration of Kazakhstan — wasn’t an obvious match. He has a lot at stake on the production, which is set to debut on March 15. He has booked the capital’s former symphony hall for at least a year. If it’s successful, it would become Rome’s first permanent theatrical production along the lines of Broadway in New York or the West End in London. The Vatican has approved the project, on the condition that it would respect the artistic, religious and spiritual values that the Sistine Chapel embodies. [More]
The final scene of “Universal Judgement” features Michelangelo’s masterpiece with lighting that imitates a sunset. Credit Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times