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Booed ‘Aida’ in Paris Repels With Klan, Gestapo: Review – Bloomberg

1908 poster for Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, perform...The booing started in Act I and reached tumultuous levels by the time director Olivier Py and Pierre-Andre Weitz, the set and costume designer, stepped in front of the curtain at the Bastille.

The Paris Opera hasn’t seen a new “Aida” since 1939 and this isn’t one for the ages.

Writing in the house program, Py claims that “Aida” is Verdi’s most political opera, “a great reflection on political violence.”

That’s nonsense. Auguste Mariette, the French Egyptologist who wrote the original story, envisioned an Oriental spectacular to celebrate the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.

During the overture, a young man waving the Italian flag is brutally subdued by military police.

Later, an Austrian flag appears, and we understand that Py has updated the story from ancient Egypt to the Risorgimento, Italy’s fight for independence and unification.

In his 1953 movie “Senso,” Luchino Visconti proved the period can be a perfect background for the drama of a woman torn between love and her patriotic duties — which is exactly Aida’s dilemma.

Unfortunately, Py over-eggs the pudding with tanks, Gestapo officers bearing machine guns, and poor gypsies.

via Booed ‘Aida’ in Paris Repels With Klan, Gestapo: Review – Bloomberg.

This entry was published on October 19, 2013 at 9:04 am. It’s filed under Article and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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