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FULL AIDA St.Petersburg 2023 Yekaterina Shimanovich, Natalia Yevstafieva, Avgust Amonov, Vladislav Sulimsky

Video Recording from:     FULL VIDEO     Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Avgust Amonov  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • Video Recording from:     FULL VIDEO

Verdi was commissioned to write the opera Aida by Isma’il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt. It had been planned for it to inaugurate the Cairo opera house, and the opening of the opera house in turn heralded the conclusion of construction of the Suez Canal. In its concept, this new trade route from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean was to usher in a new age of prosperity for Egypt, while the first Egyptian national opera, composed by a great Italian, was to make the country part of European culture. Verdi did not succeed in completing his opus for the opening – Aida’s premiere took place one year later, and the opera was successfully performed at the Cairo theatre until its collapse. Ever since the premiere, it has never left the world’s great stages.
Against a backdrop of the glorious conquests of an ancient empire, there unfolds the story of the love between the Egyptian military leader Radamès and Aida, the daughter of the King of Ethiopia, which is at war with Egypt; she has been brought to the Egyptian Court as a slave. This love proves stronger than the promise of glory and power, stronger than loyalty to one’s homeland and, in a certain sense, stronger even than death. What is unusual for one of Verdi’s operas is that implacable Fate, in the spirit of the ancient world leading the characters to their deaths, is ultimately neither gloomy nor tragic. Death in love and in the name of love appears as some kind of happy oblivion following all of life’s storms.

Daniele Finzi Pasca has greater experience in dramatic theatre and the circus than in opera, and precisely this experience was to prove very useful when working with the unusual space of the Concert Hall. There, the audience seats are located around the stage on all four sides, while the amazing acoustics give the performers freedom to move about; this allowed the abandonment of always facing in one direction, as is normally the case in opera house productions. Moreover, the classical production of Aida already in existence at the historic Mariinsky Theatre had to be balanced with something totally different in terms of spirit and style. There is practically no room for any sets at the Concert Hall; instead, the stage space is created by the costumes, the lighting and a minimally adorned stage, and instead of triumphant processions across it there is an acrobat who spins inside a heavy iron ring (this is borrowed from a production by Pasca for Canada’s Cirque Éloize). In these conditions, Aida acquires not new meaning but a new sound, a new atmosphere which underscores the mystical and mythical elements. The hall’s sensitive acoustics allows to highlight those subtleties that are often lost in the shadows of the splendour of the mighty orchestra in other productions. Denis Velikzhanin

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