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AIDA: A Pharaonic spectacle at Opéra Bastille in Paris

aida-parigi

JUN 13 - JUL 16

Returning to the Paris Opera in 2013 after more than forty years’ absence, this monumental work is a hymn to the forbidden loves of a young Ethiopian slave girl and an Egyptian officer whose two peoples are locked in unending conflict on the battlefield. Whereas Verdi set the action for Aïda in Ancient Egypt, Olivier Py’s production transposes the story with its Eastern overtones to 1870’s Italy, the era of the work’s creation. Timeless truths are perceptively examined: the influence of the clergy, the climate of violence fostered by war and the fascination for an imaginary “elsewhere”
Conductor; Daniel Oren

“In the land of my ancestors, the air is fragrant and the earth is covered with perfumed flowers. The green fields and pleasant valleys will be our nuptial bed. Above us, the stars will shine with a clearer brighter light.
Aida, Act III”

“The Triumphal Scene, with its blaring trumpets and its monumental grandeur, as authentic as contemporary Egyptology and the late 19th century imagination would allow, seals the tacit alliance between religion and the sword: a terrible machine to crush individuals which ultimately buries them alive in a vault. “Tu in questa tomba?” utters the inexpressibly moving, sweet and at the same time heroic voice of Radames, in mingled horror and rapture…

Yes, she has found her way to him, the beloved for whose sake he has forfeited both his honour and his life. She has been waiting here in order to die with him. The exchange of song between the two, interrupted at times by the muffled sound of the ceremonies taking place above, or harmonising with it, pierced the soul of our solitary night-watcher to its very depth, as much by reason of the circumstances as by its melodic expression. They sang of heaven, but the songs were heavenly themselves, and heavenly sung”, wrote Thomas Mann in The Magic Mountain.

Conductor Hans von Bülow once rashly described the Messa da Requiem as an “opera in ecclesiastical garb”. Aida could be a Requiem in Egyptian costumes, as its final bars rise pianissimo, morendo, sempre dolcissimo, as if adorned with a halo, up to the heavens.

Opéra Bastille
Place de la Bastille
75012 Paris
https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-15-16

French and English surtitles
The Opéra de Paris Mémopéra Contacts Legal Terms of use Languages: Français, English
© 2016 – Opéra national de Paris

daniel oren 03 940x440

 

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