The giant, 15-tonne head of Nefertiti towering over Mrs Macquaries Point is part of the latest masterpiece production of Aida by Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, which was brought to life by leading event construction company Staging Rentals & Construction Services.
Designed by Mark Thompson, the talented team at Staging Rentals built the opera’s leading set piece over three months in the company’s Alexandria warehouse. Nefertiti – the centrepiece in Aida, a performance set in ancient Egypt about a love triangle – stands 18-metres tall, is roughly eight metres wide, weighs over 15 tonnes and is made out of a combination of polystyrene, plywood and aluminium.
David Comer, Managing Director of Staging Rentals said that this is by far the most innovative and largest custom creation he and the team have done in their 25 year history.
Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Aida. Photographer: Hamilton Lund (2015)
“Aptly named a visually gorgeous spectacle, this centrepiece required a whole team effort; from our CAD designers through to our carpenters, welders, sculptors, painters, scenic artists and project managers. This project was nothing like we’ve ever done before and I couldn’t be prouder of the result.
Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Aida. Photographer: Prudence Upton (2015)
“We’ve overcome a number of logistical challenges to deliver this fascinating feature that now looms large over the harbour. At its full height, it stood taller than our warehouse roof, so our team had to develop a unique build sequence specifically for this project. Made up of approximately 80 individual sections, the installation of the prop on-site was the first time we’d seen the finished product in all its glory,” said Mr Comer.
The head of the Egyptian queen that now rests on a custom 10 metre revolve, also built by Staging Rentals, takes pride of place at Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point. With the opening night held last Friday (27 March), ticket sales to experience Aida have already exceeded 40,000.
Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – Aida (portrait image). Photo credit: Hamilton Lund.
Running until the 26 April 2015, to see this remarkable and glamourous performance, visit: https://opera.org.au/whatson/