It’s rare, but now and again a production makes our skin tingle not because of what happened on the stage but what happened to the stage. Light becomes weather, walls become rivers, boxes become cities; magically, the world beyond the proscenium becomes as complex and fluid as a dream. Great stage design is equal parts poetry and trickery. Little wonder then that Anne Patterson was chosen to design a museum exhibit on Houdini. Her work has also appeared everywhere from Saturday Night Live to the Kennedy Center, but it is her exquisite collaborations with symphony orchestras that have brought audiences to their feet. With her designs — sometimes rich and audacious, as with Saint-Saens’ Henry VIII; sometimes delicate, as with Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony Op. 110 — Patterson has created synesthesia, and revived classical audiences. This year, Patterson may do the same for church. As Grace Cathedral’s artist in residence, Patterson uses sound, light, and art to transform the architecture (don’t worry, she has a degree in architecture from Yale). The first installation, “Seeing the Voice,” opens with cellist Joshua Roman. Guests are invited to bring cushions to experience different aural and perceptual vantage points.
Mon., March 11, 7:30 p.m., 2013