Saturday, September 01, 2012

Helsinki - Last Conference Day and Aida

I think you had enough archaeology yesterday, so I don't want to bother you with any more of it. I just want to add that you can not only learn something about archaeology on such conferences, but also general skills, like making attractive posters:

or effectively presenting them:

Since the Unicafé was closed today we went to the harbour and had some food at one of the market stalls ... nearly vegan. Fried veggies and potatoes with garlic mayonaise:

After all this archaeology I think I deserved some culture, so off I went to the Finnish National Opera. I had a ticket for Verdi's Aida.
The opera house is very modern, with costumes from previous productions all over the place:
The National Opera's web page describes their Aida in the following way:
Verdi's Aida is a magnificent and spectacular grand opera but also a sensitive and intimate tale of the forbidden love of an Egyptian military commander and an Ethiopian slave.
The poor guy is torn between an ageing Egyptian princess and an Ethiopian princess taken prisoner in an even worse state (in the text Rhadames says that Aida is "in the flower of youth"). Claire Rutter who performed as Aida keeps her age a web secret, but the unflattering costume lets us guess her age at around fifty. Where is the young generation of singers and why can't they take the roles of young people in an opera??? Here you can see the 'young' women fighting for their man (all photos are from the official Facebook site of the National Opera):
"The Finnish National Opera brings one of the best-known works in the opera repertoire to the stage in a stylish fashion."

Yes, stylish indeed. It breaths the decadent atmosphere of the 1920s and the zenana had more similarities with a nightclub. Toyboys with transparent overalls, lesbians, you get it.

"Director Georg Rootering and his team have retained the original story, but they also wanted to highlight the universal nature of the narrative."

Which is: decadent societies are also likely to commit atrocities and war crimes? At least I hope that all the scenes of raping done by the victorious soldiers must have been there for a reason. And all the prisoners in Guantanamo outfit were obviously the desperate bid to make the opera topical for our time ... I guess.

Here is Rhadames "young in years" all lovey-dovey

The only thing I still don't get, is: why did Rhadames start strangling his love objects every now and then? Maybe someone can help out...
To make things even I have to add that the music was good, lovely harp in the orchestra, the singing was in general good, too, and the wine during the break was equally nice. 


  1. Love the posters :)
    Hope can learn from them for my net one.

    Thinking Scandinavian opera can't go wrong was a mistake then... sorry

    1. Yes, now you know what to do for your next poster presentation :)
      And Scandinavian operas .... well, let's not forget the man responsible for this Aida is German *hehe*