In May 2013 Bergen National Opera and Bergen Festival are presenting Tan Dun’s extraordinary ‘opera within an opera’
Marco Polo, in a performance with film and live projection, conducted by Baldur Brönnimann, directed and designed by Netia Jones. Here, we map the creative journey towards the design of the performances, and the exploration and discovery in the preparation of the production.

“I have not told one half of what I saw”
Marco Polo

all images by Netia Jones
all titles from the text of the opera ‘Marco Polo’;
music by Tan Dun, libretto by Paul Griffiths


Office building, Bergen

“There are three layers of journey in the opera…the geographic journey from West to East… the music journey from West to desert to India to Tibet to Mongolia to China… and the spiritual journey”
Tan Dun


Steelyard, Bergen


Chain by the Hanseatic wharf in Bergen

“And I suppose we felt we might as well learn to cope with a degree of discomfort at the outset. After all, this was going to be a long jaunt.”
Myself and Marco Polo, a Novel, by Paul Griffiths


Ship at Bergen docks