|King of spectacle Balich puts Sistine Chapel on stage. — AFP Photo|Viet Nam News
ROME — The producer of the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, Marco Balich, is used to making flashy spectacles, but entering into the artistic world of Michelangelo and his frescos of creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel may be his most ambitious project yet.
Described as "artainment", Balich’s show, which premiered on Thursday, aims to take a new audience inside the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, one of Rome’s most famous sites that is so swamped by camera-clicking tourists it can hardly be fully appreciated.
Balich has taken over Rome’s former symphony hall in the hope of giving the art masterpiece back to the people of the eternal city.
"Rome is the only major European capital that doesn’t have a permanent show about its own history," Balich said.
Using the techniques learned during his Olympic experiences he makes audiences feel as if they are sitting in the middle of the iconic chapel.
High definition photographs provided by the Vatican Museums are projected onto the stage, walls and ceiling of the hall, which have been covered with canvases.
Adam and Eve frolic in front of a close-up of a fresco of the Garden of Eden with plants climbing the walls toward the ceiling, while Noah’s Ark heaves in a stormy deluge that soaks actors on stage.
"We’ve tried to apply the language and technology of the Olympics to a pillar of humanity," says Balich. — AFP