Auditorio de Tenerife presents 'Attila' a patriotic version of Verdi's opera on the life of the king of Huns
Co-produced with Teatro Reggio di Parma, this opera takes the stage of the Symphony Hall on 23, 25 and 27 November
The Auditorio de Tenerife presents Attila, the second opera programmed for this season by Opera de Tenerife. Through this work, Giuseppe Verdi gives his most patriotic perspective on the life of the king of Huns. The performances take place on 23, 25 and 27 November at 7:30 p.m. in the Symphony Hall. Enrique Arriaga, the Minister of Culture of Tenerife Island Council, together with Christopher Franklin, the conductor, and Andrea de Rosa, the stage director and set designer, announced the details on this co-production with Teatro Regio di Parma.
Arriaga explained that "the Croatian bass, Marko Mimica, will play the main character, Attila. The Bulgarian soprano, Tanya Ivanova, will play the maiden Odabella. Alfredo Daza, baritone, will play Ezio; Antonio Poli, tenor, will play Foresto; Rocco Cavaluzzi, bass, will play Leone and Javier Palacios, tenor, will play Uldino. Their voices sing together with the choir Coro de Opera de Tenerife.”
Arriaga reminded the audience that culture is something safe to do, especially in the Auditorio de Tenerife. The venue is the first stage to have an AENOR certification for its Covid-19 prevention and control programme. Finally, he explained that "Tenerife Island Council is working to ensure that everyone has access to culture without income being an obstacle for that purpose; therefore, the institution offers discounts for the unemployed, large families and those under 30 years of age".
On this occasion, the conductor Christopher Franklin will be at the helm of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he already worked for Opera de Tenerife with ‘Lucia de Lammermoor’. Now he has come back to address this great opportunity. "This score is bombastic and patriotic, dark and mysterious. It contains a leitmotif as a warning: beware of strangers you are going to drink with," analysed the conductor. Franklin also mentioned that the orchestra has been reduced for the correct observance of the prevention measures.
Andrea de Rosa spoke about the content and the scenography; "It takes place during the invasion of Italy by the Huns. The opera tackles the devastating impact of this war and the violence that affected men, women and children." The set designer explained that when you stage such an opera, there are no good and bad characters, as they show other facets. Thus, Attila is a fierce man, but we also reflect on his dreams and longings. The singers must also be actors in order to convey all the nuances”. Andrea de Rosa's proposes mystery, dreams and the unconscious.
Marko Mimica interprets the main character. He acknowledged having studied all those who have sung Verdi's Attila before him to see how he could contribute to the character. The Croatian singer said, "I have been preparing for this role for ten years because I have sung many times one of the arias that is particularly complicated". He also highlighted the nuances that this opera brings to the character, such as his love for Odabella. He admits that it is the most difficult role he has played so far.
This ninth opera of Verdi consists of three acts preceded by an opening prelude. The work was premièred in the mid-19th century. It presents the story of Attila, the king of the Huns, and his relationship with Odabella. The staging moves away from the traditional features of this title, but it retains the spirit of Verdi's work. Andrea de Rosa's team is rounded up with Alessandro Lai, costume designer, and Pasquale Mari, lighting designer.
The origin of Attila is the play 'Attila, König der Hunnen' (Attila, King of the Huns) by the German Zacharias Werner, which Verdi had read after finding references to it in Madame de Staël's essay De l'Allemagne.Moreover, he had been stimulated by the suggestion to write on a "barbaric" topic. The story takes place in the year 425 in Italy. The events narrated in the prologue take place in Aquileia and the Adriatic Lagoon, where Venice was built later on. The three acts take place in Rome.
The opera takes place during the invasion of Italy by the Huns. Attila had conquered the city of Aquileia and killed his lord, but not his daughter: Odabella. While she is imprisoned, she swears to avenge her father's death by killing the king of the Huns. Attila is attracted to her because of the strength of her character and woos her. She gives him consent to facilitate her plans. Foresto, a nobleman from Aquileia in love with Odabella, appears on the scene.
Attila is disturbed. He has dreamed that an old man prevented him from conquering Rome and warned him: “You might be the Scourge of God, but these are God's domains”. Even so, he orders to advance on Rome. Pope Leo I comes to the fore and speaks to him in those very words. Attila recognises in him the man of his dreams, so he prostrates himself before the divine representative and renounces to take over the city. The opera continues with subplots of treason against the king of the Huns. The play will end in tragedy despite Attila’s acts of kindness.
Tickets can be purchased until fifteen minutes before the show on the website www.auditoriodetenerife.com and by dialling the phone number 902 317 327 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Special prices are available for large families, unemployed, young people under 30s and 19-20 season ticket holders of Ópera de Tenerife. The audience is requested to arrive at the venue well in advance to enter the Auditorium in staggered "waves".
By purchasing tickets, you accept the measures implemented by the cultural centre to combat COVID-19, such as the correct use of masks and attendance to the event only with people you are living with. All of the measures, as well as the contingency plan certified by AENOR, can be consulted on our website.