Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It Could be Anywhere, but it's Italy: A Night at the Opera

In perhaps the most extraordinary vocal duel between two sopranos ever composed, the characters of Aida and Armenis proclaimed their love for the great warrior Radames on a perfect night in the Verona Collesum. An archaic stadium, filled as it was in the days of gladiators. The well coiffed patrons close to the stage and craning masses in the upper galleries all warmed to the poetry of the women's painful aria.

Shouts for 'Cola, Fanta, Vita Vino' echoed from wandering vendors as they traced up and down the stairs at each of the four intermissions.

As if watching two sides of the same woman battle, the princess Armenis demanded that her love prevail, while Aida shrank with resigned haunting pain, merely a slave in the eyes of her nemesis. And neither humility nor bravado would win.

Under the rising midnight stars, in the city of love's greatest legend, thousands applauded for hopeful triumph and certain pain of the romantic soul. Just steps away from Dante's pensive statue, the story of true love's loss is epically carved in the cobblestones of both musical and literary history.


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