Friday, 23 April 2010

New Royal Opera House Aida 2010

A brand new production of Aida at the Royal Opera House starts next week. It's David McViicar, so expect thoughtful. This time the emphasis is on the drama and the music, circus secondary.. For mty review of the production please see HERE.

"Aida isn’t about elephants and camels and spectacle, although many people think it is", says conductor Nicola Luisotti in an interview with Simon Thomas HERE.  "Nearly all scenes are with two or three people – Aida and Radames, Amonasro and Aida, Amneris and Radames....The power struggles of Church and State are very strong. We see that in the world today. In Italy, the Pope is enormously powerful. Politics and Religion are very much with us now and they are very important to Aida. People follow anyone who says he’s connected to God. Still. The end of the opera is decided by the priests not by the King. It’s about today as much as it’s about Ancient Egypt." 

"McVicar has a vision that’s completely different”,says Micaela Carosi (pictured) who is singing Aida. She's  created the role many times, several times with Zeffirelli, at Busseto, at the Met and elsewhere, and is an Italian repertoire specialist. For her, this new production is "Like singing Aida for the first time". 

“He wants us to think about the origins of the characters and why they do what they do. It’s not just slaves, triumphs and so on. Instead we focus on motivations, on the human side of the story. Aida is a princess, not an ordinary slave. She knows about political matters”, says Ms Carosi. When Amonasro is brought in as a captive, Aida’s first thought is for her father. “Tu! Prigioniero!” she says, with great feeling. But he whispers back “Non mi tradir!” (Do not betray me). “From that moment”, Ms Carosi says, “the drama changes”. Aida loves Radames, but she must protect her father and her country. “Duty first, love second. You do not often see this side of Aida”, she adds,”but it shows she has a very strong personality and a lot of courage”. Read the full interview HERE.

1 comment:

Susan Busby said...

I haven't seen Aida since an amazing production with Leontyne Price and Shirley Verrett years ago. Saw the new production at the ROH last week!! The wonderful chorus, orchestra and principles kept us spellbound BUT, oh those awful sets and constumes! Scenery was a choice between an underground carpark or a bombed rooftop and there was no touchy feely love between Aida and Radames. Many people left the theatre muttering about the over long simulated sex orgy - no triumphant march for Mr McVicar! - and Amneris's costumes and head dress made her look like an old lady. Just as well the chorus, orchestra and conductor were wonderful. For my £220 I felt cheated out of my traditional Egyptian staging.