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Aria di Potenza – an opera-installation and the divas of contemporary politics – The Airport Society
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Aria di Potenza - an opera-installation and the divas of contemporary politics

Power arias and divas of the contemporary political stage. An opera-installation inspired by the operatic dimension of political rhetoric.

 

Crew
Concept & Stage Directions: Krystian Lada / Light Design: Kevin Briard / Soundscape Design: Rutger Muller / Sound Inserts Composition: Katarina Glowicka / Live Electronics Performer: Nina Fukuoka / Make Up & Hair: Sigrid Volders / Dramaturgical Advice: Georg Weiland / Production Coordination: Pim Dinghs / Backstage Coordination: Alison Dujardin

Cast
Lucia Lucas (baritone) / Dubravka Mušovic (mezzo) / Tomasz Raczkiewicz (countertenor) / Alfredo Abbati (pianist) / Pedro Beriso (pianist) / Lydia Dobroumoff (actress) / Cirque Royal—Koninklijk Circus (an abandoned space)

Production
The Airport Society / Co-production: Nuit Blanche (Brussels) /World premiere: October 7, 2017, Cirque Royal—Koninklijk Circus, Brussels

Special thanks
Special thanks to: Nancy (for trust), Koen (for patience), Ward (for dedication), Hannah (for precision), Jan (for generosity)..

‘Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.’  – George Orwel

Opera allows her spectators to dream away. Music has the potential to activate, channel and manipulate our emotions. In an opera performance, even a morally dubious character can gain the sympathy of the audience with an aria – some lyrical belcanto, precisely executed coloraturas or a begging-for-some-pity dramatic aria. Opera repertoire is rich in arias of political leaders – such as kings and emperors – expressing content similar to the messages conveyed in contemporary political addresses. Political speeches – with their skillfully mastered rhetoric and carefully staged set-ups – seduce us in the same way that opera does. Every day, politicians of all factions – opera singers alike – engage and manipulate human emotions in order to gain our support for their political goals; their rhetoric is as impressive as operatic belcanto or coloraturas. The only difference is that dreaming away in an opera auditorium leads to less consequences than dreaming away at the polling-booth.

In the opera-installation Aria di Potenza , an ensemble of opera singers, pianists and an actress performs a selection of original political speeches by the politicians that have been shaping the world scene, including Erdogan, Putin, Merkel, Clinton, Le Pen, Michel, Kaczyński, Kim Jong-un and Trump. During the climactic moment of the text, the singer switches to an aria that expresses the main emotion of the speech. All arias are part of the classical operatic repertoire (Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, Purcell) and are performed with piano accompaniment. The spectators are invited to behold one speech/aria only or to stay in the auditorium for as long as they wish.