Daily Archives: 21 July, 2006

m… m… m… my verona

Aida in the open  verona, italy

flew to italy to meet up with my antipodian friend kim. australia being so far away, it only makes sense to hook up in some gelato-infested backwater halfway in between.
a few weeks ago i was so immersed in forward momentum that i missed out on finland’s big open air opera festival in savonlinna.. not that i’m a big opera fan… but as experiences go, it had promise. i arrived unknowingly in an impossibly overbooked verona in the middle of its big open air opera season… the colosium arena in the middle of town hosts a different opera every night… the scale of the staging is immense and yet every day a crane lifts out the pieces of Aida to make way for the stage of Carmen. we scored the equivalent of bleacher seats and our late arrival had us sitting aloft in the nosebleeds. it was wicked hot and we were all packed together on marble steps that retained and radiated the direct sun from earlier in the day. i have nothing to compare it to, but Aida was amazing… at least the music, the singing and the dancing was… but to be honest, i found the story itself to be a facile ham-fisted charade of high drama lacking any real emotive power of its own, forcing reliance on the singers’ operatic strength to do the heavy lifting… or is that what opera is all about to begin with? someone tell me. i’m uncultered and pedestrian. my idea of high entertainment is watching the family guy on a laptop in a hotel room with a friend…