Looking into the future: How Aida is changing the game for Opera Australia

Opera Australia Aida king

Going up against the traditionalist lovers of classic opera is no easy thing. You have to be one ballsy creative with a great vision and a lot of grunt.

Good thing that the artistic director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini is just that and has taken this month’s production of renowned opera¬†Aida as the first stepping stone on the way to the future for the Australian opera company.

Opera Australia Aida dancers

Aida is the story of the enslaved Ethiopian princess in Egypt, who’s got a thing for a guy called Ramades. Ramades is sent off to conquer her homeland of Ethiopia and he returns with her Dad – the King – as a slave. Ramades is then given the Egyptian princess’ hand in marriage, but he doesn’t want it, so the two meet-up for one last hurrah on the banks of the Nile before it all comes crashing down.

It’s a dramatic love story that, if any other productions of it around the world would indicate – is one hell of an effort by the costume and set design team, let alone the director and singers themselves. Just look at the production on Coolangatta beach by Opera Australia in 2017.

Opera Australia Aida singers

But in 2018, Opera Australia is doing something different for now and for the future, working with a unique set, incredible cast and costumes and the world-class, ‘knee-weakeningly’ incredible voices of the singers – as per usual – and a production that is as much appealing to the younger generations of screen-addicted millennials as it is for the more open-minded classicists.

With a set illustrated entirely by around 10, seven-metre tall LED screens that can look as flat as a handmade backdrop or as alive as a writhing pit of snakes – an actual projection on them in the production – the screens revolutionise what it is to watch ‘the opera’ and bring it well-and-truly into the 21st century.

Opera Australia Aida pharaoh

With the production of Aida, the opulence, wealth and power of the Ancient Egyptian people isn’t shied away from, as gold everything features heroically on the screens as they jostle and oscillate around the stage.

Natalie Aroyan (Aida), Riccardo Massi, Yonghoon Lee and Diego Torre (Ramades) and Elena Gabouri, Clementine Margaine and Milijana Nikolic (Amneris, princess) do well to work with the screens as they float, silently around the stage while the singers deliver some of the world’s most loved, known and revered arias. Here’s what it looks like…

The way Opera Australia is moving with the times and changing things up for an audience who love what they do now and a future audience who need something more dynamic is exemplified in this year’s production of Aida. A must-see!

Get your tickets to see the production of Aida by Opera Australia until 31 August at the Sydney Opera House, here.

Opera Australia Aida Amneris