Designer Paul Brown's transplants the traditionally desert-set action to a sort of futuristic Egypt on the Ganges. The centerpiece is a massive fragmented Statue of Liberty that looms over the action.
Staged by Graham Vick, the large-scale production makes great use of the vast, environmental outdoor space that floats before an audience of nearly 7,000. Much like the productions in years past this Aida boasts a huge chorus and a variety of inventive nautical sets.
Artistic director David Pountney's production of Nabucco in the summer of 1993 and 1994 launched what has become a series of Verdi operas on the lake. "There was, of course, nothing random about my decision to mount Aida, another opera by Guiseppe Verdi, on the Floating Stage," says Pountney. "This stage is after all a marvelous venue for everything that this composer did best: transforming grand passion and tragic conflict into superb music. It's the first time in the Festival's history that this magnificent 'desert opera' has been staged on the shore of Lake Constance, and of course its poses a considerable challenge. But we think we have found a really exciting production concept."
With performances scheduled almost daily through Aug. 23, this Aida calls for a rotating set of leads. Four singers share the role of Aida, with three each switching off as Radames and Amneris. Click here for a cast list by date.
For tickets and further information in English, visit Bregenz Festival.
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Photos by Karl Forster, Kamil Kloch and Dietmar Mathis.