Tomcat USA recently collaborated with the San Francisco Opera in a production of Rheingold, the first in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The San Francisco group worked with the Washington Opera for the production; the companies will produce one opera a year from the cycle culminating in a presentation of the full cycle in 2010.

For the production, the design staff wanted a modular aluminum flat system that would replace their traditional wooden flats. These frames are connected to form four portals, spanning the stage and adding depth and perspective to the scenery. Portals 1 and 4 have independent legs that can be flown separately from the entire portal. Painted material is stretched across the frames to complete the look of the customized scenery.

All four portals are 75’ wide and range in heights from approximately 27’ to 45’ and are comprised of ten to sixteen separate flats joined by insert sleeve connections. Working with the opera company, Tomcat USA designed a system that is easily assembled and transported: precisely what is needed for a set that will travel back and forth between Washington DC and California over the coming years.