Artainment Worldwide Shows presents “Giudizio Universale. Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel”, running at the Auditorium Conciliazione of Rome.
The Sistine Chapel is the absolute protagonist. One of the most incredible places in world art history is at the centre of a show born from the contamination of many different artistic forms: the physical action of the theatrical performance meets the intangible magic of special effects, the advanced technology is at the service of a story made by words and images never seen before. The 270° immersive projections take the viewer to the very centre of the event.
Created with the scientific advice of the Vatican Museums, the show uses the most advanced technology of live entertainment to tell the genesis of a masterpiece of History of Art and Humanity, with the utmost respect for historical and pictorial sources.
The direction of this totally innovative show – capable of combining art, theatre performance, music and the most advanced technologies – is by Marco Balich, artistic director and producer of Olympic Ceremonies, from Torino 2006 to Rio 2016. For this project Balich has used the collaboration of artists of undisputed international fame such as Sting – over 100 million records sold with the Police and with his solo career – who arranged and interpreted the original main theme song.
The show, presented in Italian and English, also counts the contribution of two acting star. The voice of Michelangelo, in both versions, is performed by Pierfrancesco Favino, whose talent has long been recognized beyond the Italian borders thanks to important international productions. The voice of the Bible in the English version is performed by Susan Sarandon.
The co-director of “Giudizio Universale” is Lulu Helbek – creative director of important productions for Balich Worldwide Shows, as “Mother of the Nation”, Abu Dhabi in 2016, while the theatrical supervision was entrusted to Gabriele Vacis, a reference figure in the European artistic scene.
In addition to the original theme made by Sting, the soundtrack is written by John Metcalfe, leading figure in the contemporary pop-rock scene, arranger and producer of artists such as U2, Morrissey, Blur and Coldplay. The show scenography is not limited to reproduce the Sistine Chapel, but brings before the eyes of the public new spaces, magical, suspended, inspired by the original perspectives of the sixteenth century. Stufish Entertainment Architects, the set designer team responsible for, among many, the stages of The Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga and Madonna, signed them. The vaulted structure of the Auditorium Conciliazione is the background to the high definition video content and offers an extraordinary immersive experience: an area of over 1000 square meters of surface for the projections is positioned at more than 12 meters of height all around the public. The contents of the 270° immersive projections are curated by Luke Halls, a video designer already working with Rihanna, Elton John and the Royal Opera House of London. Part of the international creative team, contributing to the realization of the show, is Fotis Nikolaou, historical dancer of Dimitris Papaioannou and choreographer of the Athens Olympic Ceremonies, Rob Halliday and Bruno Poet, light designers of countless theatrical works all over the world, from Oslo on Broadway. Other important contributions to the show are the sound of Mirko Perri, winner of the David di Donatello 2017 for “Fast as the wind”, the costumes of Giovanna Buzzi, winner of the Metropolitan Fashion Award 2017, the Oscar of Fashion, with over 100 performances active between lyric, prose and great events, and, last but not least, the props created by Plastikart.
“Giudizio Universale” is 60 minutes long. The spectators will follow the story of the birth of Buonarroti’s masterpiece, from the commission of the frescoes of the vault by Giulio II until the realization of the Last Judgment, with a re-evocation of the Sistine Chapel also as a place for the Papal election. Through the story of Michelangelo, of the frescos that decorate the place, one of the most fascinating and mysterious rites of spirituality unique in the world comes alive: the Conclave.
The show is the first production of Artainment Worldwide Shows. The company, part of Worldwide Shows Corporation (wscorp.com), gave life to a new kind of entertainment: live performances where the emotional codes of the show and the contemporary visual languages meet art. The show sets itself as a new chapter of the Italian cultural offer, with a long-term project that starts from Rome. Like the most important cities, the capital will have a show that speaks to the world with a typical Italian style.
The voices of “Giudizio Universale” – more over Pierfrancesco Favino and Susan Sarandon – are by Sonia Scotti for the Italian version of the Voice of the Bible, Joseph Murray and Luca Biagini for Clement VII, Ian Thomas Williams and Ennio Coltorti for Julius II, Julian Hill and Franco Mannella for the Conclave.
The performers who physically take turns on stage are Valentino Infuso, Cristian Ruiz, Francesco Maria Cordella, Pietro Rebora, Rimi Cerloj, Danilo Picciallo, Giacomo Corvaia, Desiré Balena, Danilo Monardi, Federica Scaramella and Manuel William Rapicano.
At the beginning of the show, the viewer is taken on a journey through time. It starts by taking us to the sixteenth century to visit the quarries of Carrara on a search for the perfect piece of marble.
Michelangelo’s passion for stone arose out of his relationship with “the giant”, a rock that seemed impossible to sculpt, until he created the most iconic statue of all time: David. Michelangelo is without a doubt, an artist. He not only sculpts, but also writes poetry and paints.
This is why Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The Chapel will appear to the public as it was before Michelangelo began work on it, and the viewer will explore, in his presence, the lateral paintings carried out by the Italian masters who preceded him, such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and Pinturicchio. A magical journey featuring the artist’s creative process where the ceiling paintings dedicated to Genesis come alive and express their humanity.
In 1513, a year after completion of the ceiling fresco, the Sistine Chapel became, for the first time, the place where the Papal conclave, the meeting convened to elect the Pope, would take place. Thanks to a free interpretation, the symbols of this timeless rite come to life.
At the end of the Papal conclave, the new Pope Clement VII orders Michelangelo to create the fresco on the main wall of the Sistine Chapel. A new challenge for Michelangelo, who -in a moment of inspiration- produces a visionary and powerful fresco depicting the Last Judgement, one which completely breaks with previous tradition. Giudizio Universale immerses us in an aesthetic, emotional and spiritual experience.
An unprecedented show
An extraordinary immersive experience
o discover the wonders of the Sistine Chapel.
Artainment Worldwide Shows presents
Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel
a show by MARCO BALICH
with the scientific advice of the MUSEI VATICANI
main theme song STING
co-director LULU HELBEK
voice of Michelangelo PIERFRANCESCO FAVINO
voice of the Bible (English version) SUSAN SARANDON
video design LUKE HALLS
music JOHN METCALFE
stage design STUFISH Entertainment Architects
choreography FOTIS NIKOLAOU
lighting design BRUNO POET and ROB HALLIDAY
costume design GIOVANNA BUZZI
props art direction PLASTIKART
sound design MIRKO PERRI
theatrical supervision GABRIELE VACIS
dialogues LUCA SPERANZONI
AUDITORIUM CONCILIAZIONE – ROMA
Via della Conciliazione 4
Morning, Afternoon and Evening shows
Italian and English version**
Simultaneous translation of the show in 9 languages
headphones availables in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian)
* The narrative covers a total duration of about 15 minutes over the 60 minutes duration of the show. Dialogues and voice-over (Italian or English depending on the schedule) are widespread in the theater through the immersive mode typical of the whole show. Translation in main languages will be supplied by leaflets (free summary of the plot) or by headphones (priced service).