“A feast for the eyes”

Cyrano by Joe Wright it is definitely one of films which is being talked about the most in recent weeks. The musical adaptation of the famous opera “Cyrano de Bergerac” was filmed in different locations in Sicilyamong which Noto and Etna.

Cyrano’s Sicily is a feast for the eyes

There famous US magazine AD (historical international magazine, existing since 1920) celebrates the Sicilian locations in a splendid article dedicated to our island. Already from the title, it leaves no doubts: Baroque architecture and an active volcano make Cyrano a feast for the eyes.

The cast and crew spent three months in Sicily, where the film was entirely shot. The merit of the choice for the sets goes to the set designer Sarah Greenwood and to a pastry shop: «I was there for a job a few years ago and I ended up in this incredible city called Knownbecause someone said they made fantastic cannoli», explains Greenwood.

Impressed by the city’s beautiful Baroque architecture, she showed director Joe Wright photos of it. And he said he would turn it in Sicily. Based on the play by Edmond Rostand from 1897this musical adaptation tells of the lyricist’s physical insecurity Cyrano de Bergerac (played by Peter Dinklage) and his love for Roxanne (Haley Bennett).

However, she falls in love with the young cadet Christian (Kelvin Harrison). Since Christian isn’t good with words, Cyrano offers to step in and write her his love letters. Sicily is as much the protagonist as the actors: «It’s not about the period, but about the sense of place», explains Greenwood.

The magical atmosphere of Noto, a Unesco World Heritage Site

Knownthe city built in 1694 in the aftermath of an earthquake“It’s a place where everywhere you look there’s something incredible,” he says. The production took several avenues for the exterior scenes. Roxanne’s home is in Palazzo Castelluccio, built in 1782: «Everyone fell in love with it as a setting», says set decorator Katie Spencer.

The carnival-style theater set in which Cyrano makes his grand entrance proved more challenging. Due to time constraints, Greenwood designed it and within a courtyard in Noto.

The most spectacular momenthowever, occurred when the cast and crew filmed the scenes of army battle on Etna. The crew installed a huge platform of the camera and was ready to go, when a rare summer snowstorm hit the area.

They decided to film anyway, despite the new all-white background: “There were all kinds of sulfurous ash as well, so it looked interesting visually,” says Greenwood. Then the mountain started to erupt. “The landscape on which we shot has disappeared», he adds, and then concludes on AD: «We left fragments of scenery on top and now it is buried forever». Photo: Peter Mountain / 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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