A new open-air reworking of Giuseppe Verdi’s much-loved classic opera Aida will be staged in September in Valletta’s Pjazza Teatru Rjal as part of Valletta 2018, as well as in the Netherlands through Valletta’s partner European Capital of Culture city Leeuwarden-Fryslân.

Depicting the story of the Princess Aida and her lover Radames, the military commander of her enemy, this contemporary production of Aida by acclaimed Dutch company Opera Spanga is directed by Corina Van Eijk and will be accompanied by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in Malta and Filharmonie Noord in the Netherlands.

Featuring a highly-experienced international cast, including Maltese and Dutch performers, the production offers a new approach to opera, utilising multimedia, pushing boundaries, and focusing on the realism and emotions behind the story itself.

“I chose this opera for the music, which is hugely meaningful, beautiful and moving,” says Ms Van Eijk. “Whilst Aida has always been performed with big gestures, the only real grand scene within it is the triumphal march, with many more intimate, tremendously beautiful love scenes in the piece. We wanted this production to transmit these real emotions in the story through the music, and have worked hard to develop a natural way of acting whilst singing operatically.”

The story and themes explored in Aida also remain topical and relevant today, despite the opera being written in the 19th century. “This magnificent opera depicts issues that we still face in the world, such as political challenges, conflict between the state and church, shame, loyalty, and the nature of love, war, peace and forgiveness,” continues Ms Van Eijk.

These identical performances will be staged in Valletta and in the Dutch countryside where Opera Spanga is based. Students from MCAST in Malta and D’Drive in Leeuwarden have been offered opportunities to contribute to the production, either in costume design under the inspirational guidance of renowned designers Charles & Ron, or in the fields of production design and film production.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida will be performed by Opera Spanga at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta on 13th and 15th September 2018. Further information and tickets are available online at www.pjazzateatrurjal.mt.