Posts Tagged ‘Anaesthesia’

Anaesthesia II, by Sonia Arienta

The top of spectacularity in Aida and Don Carlos is set in two places: respectively in the Tebe’s entrance (Finale II), in the Valladolid’s big square (Finale III). Both of them coincide with the middle of the opera dramatic-musical sequence, and both are public open places, crowded with presences. Whether the “triumph” scene, or the “Autodafé” one constitute an impressive, theatrical epiphany of the power, fit to describe the apparatus and the machines used by the last one, in order to express its arrogance. Musical horror vacui of these pages, graphically supported by the density of notes, staves for voices and instruments in the full score and the display of magnificence express with theatrical tools a critic towards the power. They are so different from the complacency for redudancy, from a wanton show of sounds. They rather stress autocelebration of power and its rhetoric which Verdi criticizes and points out it, thanks to awareness with he utilizes grand-opéra’s patterns.
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Anaesthesia, by Sonia Arienta

In an ill cultural system, audience anaesthesia becomes the unconscious or conscious “mission” towards embarrassing operas or even towards a genre (melodrama in this example). They are both “guilty”, infact, for encouraging questions and stimulating thoughts. In such a situation we can recognise, then, some choices involving set design and direction. So, this kinds of stage productions tame awkward contents with an involutional way, where also the space appears poor in value and meaning. Such a “destiny” we can especially see in work like La Traviata, often characterised by a glittered and silky packaging, or Aida, afflicted by stage productions obeying to an exoticism made of peacock’s feathers and Egyptology of papier-mâché. So, for instance, in the first example, we can see a generous number of stage productions where the two feasts in Violetta’s home and in Flora’s palace are used as a cue for a pleasant, high society sets, fit to nurse acritical and passive spectators…
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