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To the letter

Much aestheticism, incessant tableaux vivants, but scarce direction of actors and very few ideas

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To the letter

January 1929. Theodor Adorno attends a new production of Aida at Frankfurt Opera directed by Clemens Krauss. In his brief subsequent critique he wonders wher excess productions faithful to original will not intensify growing alienation that public feels towards certain operas. and sentence: "The scenic rescue of works like Aida occurs only if you blow up inflow of scenic structure, Intercalándola with intentions taken from or more current areas." Something that should relate to what he would write many years later when he said that " opera, as a place of rest and bourgeois recreation, was allowed to be so little involved in social conflicts of nineteenth century that could only very roughly reflect Evolution of tendencies of bourgeois society itself. "

More information
  • The lavish ' Aida ' returns to Royal atre 20 years later
  • 20 years eventful de Teatro Real

January 1981. Michael Gielen runs Aida at Frankfurt Opera in a new production by Hans Neuenfels. During prelude it is seen with Radamès, dressed like a businessman nineteenth, and in what seems to be a dream, to take a shovel in his office to, after starting several planks of wood of ground, to take successively Earth, a sword and sculpted bust of Aida. This will turn out to be later not an Ethiopian slave, but a humble cleaner and, at beginning of second act, after curtain was lifted, public sees in chorus to its double, which observes and imitates: y are, in ir boxes, spectators of European premiere of opera in atre to The Scala in Milan in 1872. Ethiopian prisoners are n forced to use a knife and fork to eat roasted chicken, but, unsuccessful attempt to civilize those presented as savages, food is just thrown into air. The hootings and Whistles Arrecieron during performance, scandal was major and one of later functions was to be interrupted by a warning of bomb.


Music by Giuseppe Verdi.

Liudmila Monastirska, Gregory Kunde, Violeta Urmana and George Gagnidze, among ors. Choir and orchestra holders of Royal Theatre.

Musical direction: Nicola Luisotti. Stage direction: Hugo de Ana. Teatro Real, until March 25th.

August 2017. It premieres in Salzburg a new production of Aida with musical direction by Riccardo Muti and scenic of Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat. In its production re are video projection, of course, and in stylized scenery and costumes re are no recognizable Egyptian symbols. A German critic maliciously writes that " only mummies are in seat-yard."

March 2018. The Royal Theatre resets Aida's production of Hugo de Ana originally released twenty years ago, a few months after its reopening. There is no trace of Antibourgeois magnifying glass of Adorno, nor of critical reading that Edward Said makes of opera in a long part of second chapter of his culture and imperialism ("The Empire in Action"), nor of dislocations between expected and visible , as happened, for example, in triumphal march of anor famous production of Aida, that of Franz Konwitschny for opera of Graz in 1994, with trumpeters located next to public and invisible chorus out of scene, where it was seen with Radamès and Amonasro triumphantly man Blood chads in a boring party with or main characters.

What is re in this exponent of Royal Theatre yesterday, or day before, very different from today, is much aesticism, incessant tableaux vivants, but little direction of actors and very few ideas. Musically, best is by far splendid direction of Nicola Luisotti, who does not incur a single excess in an opera prone to commit m and that directs with pulse, poetry and atrical sense at all times. For those who tire of scenic bustle, seeing him lead in pit is a real pleasure and teaches even more about work than what you see on stage. The voices, however, are seldom at ir height: Gregory Kunde, almost settled in our atres, has come to Radamès with voice already fatigued and what he can do does not always correspond with his good intentions; Liudmila Monastirska possesses qualities for Aida, but its vocal power tends to be disposed at times and accuses serious deficiencies of expressiveness and diction; After a very doubtfully beginning (like Kunde), Violeta Urmana makes his Amneris grow, reserving best for last act. From rest of cast, most notable is excellent and noble Ramfis of Roberto Tagliavini.

It is a Aida to contemplate and listen (dazzled by such wonder, as Hans Castorp when he hears it on gramophone in last chapter of Magic Mountain), but not to think and delve into dark areas and multiple folds that hides any work of Art. This month has been planned for three different deals, which will change game of musical balances. But what you see \u2012y, Ay, what has stopped verse\u2012 will remain, of course, same.


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