Professor Bernhard Kleber from Vienna has designed a stage set made exclusively from Plexiglas®, provided by Degussa, for the performance of the opera Ariadne auf Naxos at Darmstadt's Staatstheater. He built the side and rear walls of the stage set, as well as partitions and ceilings, from more than 300 sq. m. of Plexiglas multi-skin sheet.

The stage set owes its special effect to the different-colored backlighting that bathes the stage in various atmospheric hues, from a frosty shade of blue to a warm, sunny yellow. Kleber chose Plexiglas for its lighting engineering properties and its low weight. Its ease of handling, toughness and the safety benefits it offers were a new experience for Kleber: "We consciously chose Plexiglas as a material for the stage sets because it offers a variety of shapes and colors that perfectly matched our designs. What's more, Plexiglas gives off virtually no smoke and no toxic gases in the event of fire. It, therefore, makes a crucial contribution to the safety of our actors and audience."

Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss is an opera within an opera. In the first half, confusion and arguments occur during a gala dinner at the house of a nouveau riche. The announcement, "Let the opera begin," ends the arguing and marks the change to the opera proper in which Ariadne, forsaken by Theseus, grieves and awaits the messenger of death, but the god Bacchus restores her will to live and love again.

Germany’s third largest chemical company, Degussa is a multinational corporation aligned to specialty chemicals.