The largest touring tent on the planet was erected this week at Olympic Village in preparation of Odysseo’s second and final run in Vancouver. The $30 million theatrical production imagined by Normand Latourelle will open January 29.
Our History with the Horse
The horse has marked human history and progress more than any other animal. Horses have taken us to the ends of the earth enabling us to build bridges between cultures and expand civilization. It is the beauty and harmony of this ancient relationship, this meeting of two worlds, those of horse and man, that inspired the creators of Odysseo. As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 65 horses and 48 artists lead the viewer on a great journey in yet another world – a world of dreams where together they discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes.
Odysseo marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo comprises a list of superlatives: the world’s largest touring production and traveling big top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the largest number of horses at liberty. The creators of this ode to the horse made the decision to indulge their wildest artistic ambitions. Their gamble paid off: Odysseo pushes the limits of live entertainment by creating a larger-than-life show that sends hearts racing, but it is also a feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering the spectacular with soul.
White Big Top
Covering a surface area of 5,425 square metres, Odysseo’s impressive White Big Top is a mix of art, technology and advanced engineering. In order to break through the limitations of standard big top tents, allow for more flexibility in the performance area, and to give the horses the space they need to feel free and comfortable, Normand Latourelle, Cavalia’s artistic director and founder, partnered with specialized companies in Europe and Canada to create this high-tech structure. By removing the usual supporting masts from the stage and shifting the weight of the structure from the masts to three arches above the tent, this specially designed White Big Top is the best environment for the horses and acrobats to perform breathtaking numbers and for the creative team to design large-scale staging.
This unprecedented structure is also composed of several exceptional features like the grandiose stage – larger than the Rogers Arena ice rink – that enables large-scale, cutting-edge creative performances. Surrounded by bleachers with 2,074 seats, the 1,626 square metres stage requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create so that it offers a vast space of freedom where 65 horses and 48 artists can display their intimate collaboration.
To help immerse the audience in the magical world of Odysseo, images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world are projected throughout the show onto a 780 square metre screen. And don’t forget the technical grid, worthy of the largest permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, which can support 80 tons of equipment for the stage needs of the show, including the majestic life-sized merry-go-round.
Never afraid of using unparalleled technical, visual, and sound infrastructure, the Odysseo creative team has invented a feast for the eyes, a multi-dimensional spectacle with staggering effects created by state-of-the-art scenery. During the breathtaking finale, a vertiginous virtual waterfall overhangs a lake made possible by an underground drain system that releases 150,000 litres of recycled water onto the stage, in which horses, riders, and artists join to frolic, leaving behind them the traces of their splashes—and an astonished audience.
The White Big Top is part of a larger ensemble; the Odysseo village will take shape over the next few weeks when a team of 80 experienced workers will be charged with its construction. The Odysseo village consists of five tents: The White Big Top, the stable tent, the exclusive Rendez-Vous VIP tent, the warm-up & artistic tent, and the kitchen tent for the 200 employees. In total, 110 semi-trailer trucks will be required to transport the world’s largest touring production to Vancouver. Soon, the two and four-legged stars will wow the audiences by performing this veritable revolution in live entertainment that marries the equestrian arts, stage performances, and high-tech theatrical effects in never-before-seen ways.
Tickets are priced from $29.50 to $139.50 + applicable taxes and fees. For a memorable evening, the Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, exquisite full buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous package prices range from $129.50 to $209.50 + applicable taxes and fees. Special pricing and packages also available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+).