A Travellerspoint blog

2018 - UK & Italy (Part 3 - Grand opera in Verona)

Aida in the Roman Amphitheatre in Verona

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View 2018 UK & Italian Lakes on nzhamsta's travel map.

Wednesday 29 August
The travel started with a boat trip across the lake from Menaggio to Varenna, a crowded train to Milan Centrale and then allocated seats from Milan to Verona. The B&B was very close to the arena and once we managed to get hold of the manager so that we could get in, was very comfortable.

An afternoon walk around the river and the Piazza delle Erbe.

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Well deserved afternoon refreshment.

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The Piazza Delle Erbe.

The arena in Verona.

The arena in Verona.

We were in Verona to attend the opera in the arena. This is a series of grand operas held each summer and Aida is one of the grandest of them all. Think of it as being bigger than Ben Hur (1959 version) and having a cast of thousands.

Synopsis (courtesy of Wikipedia):
The Egyptians have captured and enslaved Aida, an Ethiopian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the King of Egypt. To complicate the story further, the King's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings.

As with most operas the plot is more complicated than this with twists, turns, spectacular revelations (the slave is the daughter of the Ethiopian King captured later) and death scenes lasting several arias.

The seats are very hard (given they been there for nearly 2000 years that is understandable) and cushions can be rented for a couple of euro each.

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The arena is starting to fill up.

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The arena is filling up.

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Thankfully they had the libretto in Italian and English on screens above the audience so I could pass on the story to Hung.

Three hours later, the opera finishing after midnight, we wandered home. An excellent experience.

Posted by nzhamsta 12:00 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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