Harry Kupfer, one of the great German opera directors, with more than 175 productions to his name, staged Wagner´s Opera “Parisfal” in the New National Theatre, Tokyo. The stage (Hans Schavernoch) is a Tribute to the Parsifal production in Bayreuth during the 80´s. Studio Hamburg Workshops built all decorative elements and complex stage machinery. The carpentry, scenery, painting and metalwork departments were particularly involved. Their work included alley walls, hanging rear projection surfaces, flying frame constructions for false ceilings and a complex road Installation afforded by means of a 35 metre zig-zag ramp. A further mechanical Engineering Highlight was the so-called “Knife”. This 14 metre Long cantilever arm was able to swing a ramp, with a singer at the end of it, parallel over the road. According to the Project Manager Ilka Licht “the Special Thing about this Project was of course the geographic distance from the venue. We had to trust entirely in the drawings of the production Manager Matthias Lippert”.
Logistically, the production also created great challenges. After the three month planning and construction phase in the Tonndorf Workshops, the stage elements measuring 6 x 40 foot had to be shipped in oversea Containers. To commence Operation of “The Knife” Ilka Licht travelled to Tokyo with a team of three hydraulic and control engineers. “It was a risk” Ms Licht explained, “but due to the great collective efforts of all parties involved, resulted in the client´s satisfaction”.