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Bluebeard’s Castle and the Miraculous Mandarin - A set design C.C.


i.s.m.architecten was invited by Christophe Coppens to assist him in the creation of the set design. The music of these two works is of the best that the interbellum of the last century has to offer. The dark, symbolic colors of Bluebeard’s Castle, lit only here and there by glittering details, are, as it were, torn apart in the expressionistic, screaming colorite of The Miraculous Mandarin. Unity is achieved by using the same basic set: a stage with nine rooms, connected by stairs and doors and filled with crystal figures. All of that composed in mirrors and glass, creating misleading perspectives and deviating light from his normal trail.

In Bluebeard’s Castle these elements are used fairly literally to depict the castle with its rooms and closed doors. The torture chamber is given spire rods, the weapon room guns, the treasure room brilliant diamonds.
Overwhelming is the fifth door that opens the eye to the world. In The Miraculous Mandarin, the set becomes the bearer of an explosive, colorful tidal wave of flashy scenarios that play simultaneously in different rooms.







Location                Brussels (BE) – La Monnaie / De Munt

duration                08.06.2018-24.06.2018

client                  Christophe Coppens

program                 set design
set design              Christophe Coppens i.c.w. i.s.m.architecten

production              La Monnaie / De Munt

photographs             Simon van Rompay, Charlie De Keersmaecker & Chris Van Der Burcht

with thanks to Lise Caluwé for her assistance in making the model