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Symphony for three lakes and a country

Mermaids respond to a siren song on the Expo stages

(swissinfo.ch)

A lavish, extravagant show marked the long-awaited start of Switzerland's national exhibition, Expo.02.

Fifteen thousand spectators gathered at the four sites of the exhibition to watch hundreds of actors, musicians, singers, swimmers and acrobats enact a two-hour extravaganza.

Based on Greek mythology, the three-act performances - staged simultaneously at the four sites - wove in Swiss themes, languages and music, often to the confusion of the audience.

The shows, put together by Swiss director François Rochaix, opened at dusk under a cloudless sky with the arrival of the mythical winged horse Pegasus, before a hymn to the night was sung and broadcast simultaneously on all four platforms.

Jet screams across the skies

Spectators then heard the sudden roar of an FA/18 jet swooping over their heads, marking the start of the separate shows in the four different locations across western Switzerland's "Three Lakes Region".

There were moments of theatrical and musical splendour on the lakeside platforms, but there were also moments of thematic incoherence that left the audience grappling with their programme notes in an effort to make sense of show.

Audience response was mostly positive but grew more muted as the shows wore on. Expo's organisers will be hoping that the five-month exhibition proves more of a success.

swissinfo

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