Do you like Opera? Verona is the place to be.
The Arena of Verona: behind the scenes
Meet the artists who perform Verdi’s Aida by Fura dels Baus
Let’s take a peek backstage at the Arena of Verona.
In terms of an operatic theatre the Arena is 100 years old, but as an entertainment venue it dates back 2000 years old. They’ve managed to carve out changing rooms, bathrooms and offices from some of the oldest niches, with wooden mezzanines. This venue is a production in its own right.
Then we meet the artists who perform this version of Verdi’s Aida set by the Catalan group Fura dels Baus and we make a quick remind of the plot…
Video full text: Verdi’s Aida at the Arena
How wonderful, it’s full of tourists from all over the world!
We’re at the Arena of Verona to watch a performance of Verdi’s Aida.
The innovative staging and techno-set designs are by Fura dels Baus
The announcements are in all languages.
As the audience takes its seats, they’re getting ready backstage.
These statues of Anubis have a touch of sci-fi about them.
Anubis is the jackal-headed god who oversees death.
These statues are in the tomb where Radames is buried alive and where he will find Aida waiting for him.
It is a classical tale: two fathers, two daughters, and a young man in love.
One of the fathers is Amonasro, the king of Ethiopia, with his daughter Aida.
The other is the king of Egypt, with his daughter Amneris.
The two girls are fighting for the love of the young man, Radames.
It ends badly. But there is the triumphal march however!
Here’s Aida’s march!
Get ready, it’s about to start! Act 1, Scene 1.
Radames has begun to dream about his battle.
Quick! Here come the standards!
Behind the scenes they’re preparing the effects to bring onto the stage.
There are lots of people holding these luminous balls in their hands who are parading through the crowds.
The entire Arena is lit up by these bulbs.
A triumph of music and scenic effects right up to the triumphal march.
This is a triumphal car.
The triumphal entrance of Radames includes two mime artists who are pushing incredible objects.
The scenery comes together before our eyes, with hundreds of extras who are parading.
The drama unfolds, right up to the fatal stone.
That’s to say the lid to the tomb that traps the two unfortunate lovers inside.
The real fatal stones are those of the Arena of Verona.
It has been home to the essence of popular entertainment for 2000 years.
And for the last 100 years Opera as well.
It’s a unique experience that one just has to see, here in Italy!
Long live Verdi! Long live Aida!
Visit Verona: helpful hints
For international flights there is the Verona Airport, connected to the city centre by bus (rides every 20 minutes, 6€, it takes 15 minutes). The nearest airport for transcontinental flights is Bologna Airport. From the airport, first you have to reach Bologna Central Station by bus (rides every 15 minutes, it takes 30 minuts, 6€). Then either Trenitalia and Italo trains reach Verona in 50 minutes, prices change according to class and services.
Walking is the best way to visit Verona. Anyway you can move by bus, a single ticket costs 1,3€ and it lasts 90 minutes. For more information check the ATV website.
What to do
Verona, the city of love, is in the North Eastern Italy and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known wordlwide to be the city of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, here you can visit Juliet’s House with the iconic balcony (“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” – that one). But Verona is famous even more for the Arena di Verona, that is basically the greatest Opera theatre in the world! Check the official website of the Arena for the shows calendar, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a concert sit on this Roman masterpiece (Summer only, of course. No roof, above is only sky, you know). Watch Italia Slow Tour web serie about the city of love.
Last, but not least, Verona is also near the lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy (it takes 30 minutes to Peschiera del Garda or Lazise, 4o minutes to Bardolino, by car).