La Fura dels Baus have worked on the world’s largest stages. Director Àlex Ollé reveals some of the plans for Sydney Harbour.

La Fura dels Baus was created in 1979 out of an historical moment – the beginning of democracy in Spain. The new government revitalised everything cultural in a dramatic explosion out of which a number of independent theatre companies appeared.

Our first shows were performed on the street but La Fura soon developed a vocation for urban and industrial aesthetics, using improvisation to get a reaction out of the spectators. We wanted to counter public passivity through dramatic image, physical gesture, music and the use of the theatre space itself as part of the scenery. In 1992, Carlus Padrissa and myself directed our biggest work till then – the inaugural centerpiece of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Our opera work stems from that moment with an invitation to stage Falla’s rarely performed Atlàntidain front of the cathedral in Granada. There were many similarities between opera and our own work – the use of music as a thread (at that time our shows lacked text) as well as large sets and massive choirs (we worked with 3000 volunteers at...

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