In the realm of theatre, where every detail crafts the story, envision a stage that begins the tale before the first word is spoken. Photo credit: Ruth Walz

Stepping onto the stage, one is immediately transported to an authentic slaughterhouse. This vision, conceived by designer Paolo Fantin and the artistic team at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam for their production of "Animal Farm", is inspired by a real slaughterhouse in Italy. Big Image had the opportunity to interview Puck Rudolph, the production supervisor at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.



A symphony of printed marble, capturing history and narrative. Photo: Ruth Walz

Crafting a slaughterhouse

Embarking on a theatrical journey, the artistic team sought to transport audiences in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, with a vision that spoke of history, of power, and of art. Typically, the artistic team at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet collaborates with the set designer to discuss the set design. However, for this project, the designer knew from the outset that he wanted the marble to be printed to achieve an authentic look, which was a good idea since the production spanned over 500 sqm. The Nationale Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam and Big Image have collaborated on many projects. Given the importance on quality and craftsmanship, the artistic team entrusted Big Image with this important task.

It was a challenge to develop a set which we could handle in the theatre and at the same time looked as a real slaughterhouse with all its heavy materials like stone and steel. For this the material we choose for the marble tiles had to look like real marble and not painted.

Grand Marble Walls

For the grand marble walls, the pattern had to be impeccable. These walls stood up to 14 meters high, and the set was designed to be transported to other venues in cities like Vienna, Helsinki, and Palermo, each with different stage dimensions. The inspiration for this design came from Paolo Fantin, the set designer, who was influenced by an old slaughterhouse in Rome, now transformed into a museum called the Mattatoio. The artistic team faced a challenge: they needed to create a set that was both manageable for theatre use and resembled a genuine slaughterhouse with its heavy materials like stone and steel. For this the material they chose for the marble tiles had to look like real marble and not painted.


Photo: Ruth Walz

To make what's imagined become reality.

Puck Rudolph, along with the artistic team, appreciates that Big Image offers sample prints before the actual order is placed. This allows them to preview the final result, ensuring that their vision is accurately realized. While the tiles could have been painted, the artistic team wanted a cleaner look for this specific set design, which is more easily achieved through printing.

I know you are perhaps not the cheapest, but the quality of Big Image is always excellent and you are always very accurate and skilled. Working with Big Image is always a pleasure.


Photo: Big Image


Photo: Ruth Walz

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