The Props department is where the ideas, wishes and dreams of designers and directors become reality. The props managers act as sounding boards and turn ideas into reality.
From idea to prop
The props for our operas and ballets are either made by the artistic teams in the Props Department workroom or purchased externally. The latter is often the case for food and drink that is to be used on stage – which is usually real.
From animals and utensils to nutcrackers and bodies: you name it, they make it. This is how the corpse of the main character in Tosca was created, after she leapt to her death from battlements of Castel Sant’Angelo:
“The arms are from a mannequin, the head was lying around somewhere, and the rest of the body is based on polystyrenes”
Robert-Jan Ruijl - props manager
The aim of a props manager is to translate the ideas of artistic teams into stage props in the most effective and efficient way possible.
The Props department is also responsible for coming up with and providing special effects such as fire, water, smoke, and movement effects. Pyrotechnics - including the use of fireworks and other rapid combustion devices – require a permit
Photo: special effects Der Ring des Nibelungen
Did you know ... ?
Animal likenesses are also made in the Props department, but real animals are the remit of the directors.