METAMORPHOSIS / METAMORFOZES
If we cannot bring every passer-by to the roof of the Opera house, we can bring the sculptures that have been gazing at the flow of life in Riga for a century and a half to meet the public at street level. For many these characters have remained unseen, which is why METAMORPHOSES is not only an invitation to see them eye to eye, but to wander with your eyes and look up, to explore the facade of the opera house. The grey details of the sculptures are unique artefacts that just like shards from the lost Atlantis testify that the past and future can meet in the present.
In 1860 architect Ludwig Bohnstedt created a project for the Riga City theatre building, which has been the home of The Latvian National opera and ballet troupe since 1919. The original sculptures of the opera house’s facade were made by Hermann Wittig and Hugo Hagen. The sculptures that reside above the frontone were cast in zinc in 1863 and 1886, in a foundry in Berlin owned by Moritz Czarnikow. During the reconstruction of the Latvian National opera building between 1991 and 1995, the original sculptures were replaced by sculptures cast in concrete. Artists Krista and Reinis Dzudzilo have found parts of the the 157 year old original sculptures, which had been kept by the sculptor Oleg Skarainis and his spouse Irena Skaraine. Thanks to the Skaraini family’s love of history, we have this unique opportunity to meet with the original sculptures once again. The Latvian National opera and ballet together with the artists want to offer Latvian society the opportunity to experience and see their history and opera house from an intimate and personal perspective.
Object creators: Latvian National opera and ballet, Programme KOPĀ
Executed by: LLMC
Financed by: Ministry of Culture
16 / 11 / 2020 - 05 / 07 / 2021
Photos © Jānis Ķeris