Reimagining Aïda

A new twist on the classic tale of Aïda will be performed at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall.

Aïda

Meraviglie Ensemble and Opera di Concertisti will be presenting the classic tale of Aida at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall on Saturday.

But this production of the famous story has been set in outer space instead of Africa to mark the first year the Metropolitan Opera has stopped using blackface in opera.

“What we did was we took kind of a Stargate twist on it. A Stargate slash Avatar twist. It is set in space so we have the Egyptians look like Egyptians and a blue look for the Nubians,” explained director Elizabeth Lewis Celeste, who also plays the soprano, Aïda.

The original story was composed by Giuseppe Verdi and premiered in Cairo in 1851.

The opera begins with the breakout of war in Africa. Amneris (mezzo Leah Giselle Field) and Aïda (Celeste) are both princesses in their respective lands but  Aïda is captured by the Egyptians. Radamés (tenor Martin Sadd) is promised to Amneris by her father the King as a prize for victory but he is secretly in love with Aïda. Meanwhile, Amonosro (baritone Andrew Greenwood), Aïdas father, plots to save his country by tricking Radamés into treason using his love for Aïda as bait.

The Opera di Concertisti production will begin with the colliding of two planets and the dying planet of Egyptia will invade the simple world of Numbia.

“It retains the Egyptians and tribal themes and of course the famous love triangle between Aïda , Amneris and Radamés ,” said Celeste.

The company specializes in Grand Opera and performs scaleable operas, where they take an opera and scale it down to it’s essential components. This typically means it is scaled down to a quartet made up of a soprano, a tenor, a baritone and a mezzo.

All of the singers in this production of Aïda are Met winners and are transitioning into their true repertoires.

“It is a very exciting, a very dramatic show. It takes you to all the different edges of emotions,” said Celeste adding that the roles are very challenging for the singers.

The production is family friendly and will be in full costume and makeup by Brit Shottelius, a German makeup designer, who has worked in the movie industry in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

The opera will be performed at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall at 12460 Harris Road at 8 p.m. on April 23.

Tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

To purchase tickets call 1-800-328-3006 or go to www.operabc.com.

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