Some 87,000 people visited Lithuania's pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale to see the Golden Lion-winning opera performance ‘Sun & Sea (Marina)’, its authors say.
In all, 159 people have worked on the project over the six months that the Lithuanian pavilion was open to the public. Fifty-one performers from Lithuania, Italy, Brazil, the US, the UK, Spain, Germany, Greece and other countries impersonated the 13 characters in the opera set on an artificial beach.
Moreover, some 2,500 visitors from over 50 countries took active part in the opera as extras, playing vacationers on the sandy beach.
“‘Sun & Sea (Marina)’ was performed 49 days for 8 hours straight, 398 hours in total,” the pavilion's commissioner Rasa Antanavičiūtė said on Thursday, presenting the performance's results.
Thirty-six tons of sand have been taken to Venice and two tons have “walked out” with the pavilion's visitors, the creators said. The sand was later used for a new children's playground on the island of Giudecca and some of it ended up on the island of Sant'Erasmo.
Over the next couple of years, the Lithuanian artists plan to take the opera to Norway, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Iceland, the UK, the US, Russia, Australia and other countries. They hope to perform it in Lithuania, too, in 2020.
Performed from early May to late October, the opera by Rugile Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė was also awarded the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion, the first such award for a Lithuanian pavilion.
The audience could view more than 20 performers lying on 35 tons of sand and singing for eight hours. The opera touched upon issues like climate change, environment and consumerism.