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Hackenbacker Assists Mike Figgis With A Groundbreaking Opera Project

Film director Mike Figgis, the man behind films such as the Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas, has brought his visionary directorial style to the world of opera, thanks to a unique collaboration with ENO.
In a new production of Donizetti's profound masterpiece Lucrezia Borgia, which is currently taking place in London, Figgis has interspersed the music with specially commissioned film charting the early life of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia.
Audio post production for the filmed sequences was carried out at London-based post production facility Hackenbacker by award-winning sound mixer and Hackenbacker director Nigel Heath.
Figgis and Heath have worked together many times in the past, most notably on the audio post production for films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Hotel.
Commenting on the the project, Heath said: "It was great to welcome Mike Figgis back to Hackenbacker for this project. Mike had prepared the audio at his personal studio, then he and I mixed it together here in our Neve equipped Studio One. We generated separate stem mixes to allow discreet feeds for different speaker positions in the auditorium 'on the night'. Sub woofer tracks for the thunder, which features throughout, also add to the experience. We later provided a 5.1 mix for the Sky TV transmission. As always with Mike, the sessions were inventive and a lot of fun! He's an inspiring filmmaker and great to work with."
The ENO's production of Lucrezia Borgia, which stars Claire Rutter and Michael Fabiano, tells the story of this early femme fatale, the daughter of a pope with whom she allegedly had an incestuous affair. Given the nature of the subject matter it contains plenty of mistaken identities, poisonings and cuckoldry.
Opera lovers who are unable to catch the performance live have the opportunity to see the production on television thanks to a groundbreaking collaboration between ENO and Sky which will see it become the first opera to ever be broadcast live in 3D.
The broadcast takes place on February 23 2011, with a live screenings on Sky Arts 2 (HD), Sky 3D and into selected cinemas in 3D around the UK. There will also be a deferred relay in 2D into selected cinemas internationally. Sky Arts 1 will also show a programme directed by Mike Figgis that will allow audiences a closer understanding of his concept for Lucrezia Borgia, as well as including interviews with people behind the scenes.
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