My wife and I were at a concert at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre after which we had dinner with maestro Valery Gergiev. I remember we watched a football match with a Spanish team and when discussing various ideas for the Second Stage suddenly the maestro had the idea to try and do some kind of production for the Concert Hall. I was very interested and immediately suggested a monumental work with large scenes – such as Aida – but in an unexpected interpretation, an intimate and chamber format. I told the maestro that in my view the opera is full of deeply intimate moments. And so we began to dream. I am interested in the human aspect of Aida’s tragedy. There are few truly wise people, and almost all of the rest of us are unable to think clearly, we flare up in an instant.

Aida is a very personal opera in which all the characters are victims of their own actions. Everyone is always ready to cry “war, war…” but nobody thinks and nobody looks for other solutions. We are made not of water, but of gasoline. I hope that in this production of Aida we will succeed in recreating a powerful representation of the realism and madness that is alive in us all.

This production is my idea about how the whole world has long since gone mad and is always going mad. It’s a contemplation about beauty and the power of its effect on people. It’s a contemplation of how to change the world through singing among other things. And what role can be played in this change, in perfecting the world, by art.

Daniele Finzi Pasca, June 2011

Music by Giuseppe Verdi

Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Daniele Finzi Pasca
Production Concept: Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin
Set Designer: Jean Rabasse

Props Designer: Hugo Gargiulo
Lighting Designer: Daniele Finzi Pasca and Alexis Bowles
Video Designer: Roberto Vitalini, BASHIBA
Costume Designer: Giovanna Buzzi
Make-Up Designer: Chiqui Barbé
Musical Preparation: Irina Soboleva
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko

Assistant Directors : Gabriele Finzi Pasca & Alona Umanskaya