Where it all began

A meeting in 1990 was the starting point for a professional adventure that led to the creation of dUCKS scéno.

A meeting in 1990 was the starting point for a professional adventure that led to the creation of dUCKS scéno, which thirty years later has become an innovative and influential company in the field of scenography. It’s a story punctuated by architectural challenges and exciting collaborations, starting with the renovation of the Lyon Opera House in 1991.

A significant encounter

Aldo De Sousa and Michel Cova, the two co-founders of dUCKS scéno, met in 1990, both working for a company specialising in project management contracts for stage machinery. At the time, Aldo was an engineer and Michel a sales representative. Their collaboration on projects such as the Palais des Congrès in Toulon and the King’s Palace in Riyadh quickly forged a strong professional bond and a desire to continue working together.

In 1991, Lyon City Council called on Michel Cova to take over the Opéra de Lyon , to replace the previous scenographer. It was at this time that, having just set up his own company, he persuaded Aldo to join him at DuckS – the name at the time – just one month after the company was officially created. Together, they embarked on the renovation of this iconic building in Lyon, a project that marked the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations, working hand in hand with renowned architects, starting with Le Vinci, a congress centre in Tours (FR), designed by Jean Nouvel, and the Zénith and the Grand Palais in Lille (FR).


Opéra de Lyon : mission accomplished!

The Opéra de Lyon , inaugurated in 1993, is the first project, and not the least, for this very young company. Renovated in collaboration with Les Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Emmanuel Cattani, it includes the construction of a new 1,200-seat auditorium inside the old opera house, as well as a 250-seat amphitheatre, a rehearsal hall, a singing rehearsal hall and two dance studios.

Aldo recalls a few anecdotes, including the loan by the city of Lyon of a small room in which he worked on his designs until late at night, as the company had no premises or office at the time. The opera proved to be a major challenge for the small initial team: Michel, Aldo, Alexandre Forissier (project engineer) and the company secretary. Together, they worked evenings and weekends to catch up, having arrived rather late on the call for tenders. The specifications were drawn up in record time by this crack team, who rose to the challenge! Among the memorable moments of the renovation, Aldo mentions the raising of the stage grid, which he describes as incredible. It was one of the first times that a grid had been assembled not on the ground, but in the air. The teams were suspended to screw in every bolt of the structure, an impressive and unforgettable job.

dUCKS scéno today

Today, after 30 years’ experience, the company has a thousand entries in competitions in some fifteen countries, with over 100 architects and architectural agencies. The projects carried out by the Scop, in collaboration with renowned architectural agencies as well as with young or more discreet talent, are increasingly varied and include exhibitions, conferences, congresses, artistic and cultural performances, live shows and concerts… Whether they are architects, engineers or show technicians, the company’s 30 current employees come from different backgrounds, with technical expertise in scenography, theatre and exhibition architecture, stage machinery, audiovisual and stage lighting, and technical drawing. This mix brings a rich and complete vision to each project, and the company today relies on their talent and energy. Incorporated as a cooperative limited company, dUCKS scéno is based in Villeurbanne, with an office in Paris and a branch in Shanghai. Since 1991, the teams have had the pleasure of working on over a thousand projects worldwide, mainly in Europe, but also in the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.


Today, after three decades in business, dUCKS scéno continues to stand out for its expertise and commitment. With a team of 30 talented employees, the company has established itself on the international stage, working on a wide range of prestigious projects. Aldo and Michel’s shared vision, born of a meaningful encounter, remains the driving force behind a human and professional adventure.