One Minute World Arts- Performing in Verdi’s Aida at the Met with No Opera Experience

A re-produced Aida, based on the famous 1988 version directed by Sonja Frisell, is now presented at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, showing the audience the opera house’s classic staging of Verdi’s masterpiece. Frisell’s Aida is most admired for the splendor of its mise en scene, using extras as many as 175 – a lot of them without any opera experience – and 4 real horses this time to create a visual feast on stage. Their major task in this production is to make the triumphal scene in the second act look authentic, celebrating the victorious return with a sense of honor and great beauty. Meanwhile, the 4 horses are selected through auditions; since this is their Met Opera debut, they would have to show that they are gentle and steady enough for this big occasion.


Before entering the stage, all the non-speaking actors and horses need to wait patiently in a purposefully designated space, fully prepared with adequate costumes and props, until the first act ends. Soon the “soldiers” would be assembled and led to gather behind the wall of the grand setting, being reminded of the procedure of marching one last time. When the march starts, horses are mounted with their riders, who are also first-timers on the Met stage, handling them to lead the marching troops. The soldiers then follow up, squad after squad, seeming like an infinite stream, but are in fact played by the same group of extras changing looks and taking turns. Their participation in the production makes this Aida become highly watchable, and the audiences are inevitably amazed by the splendid scenes, and further pleased to see the majestic view again when the curtain is opened once more after the show comes to an end. For the non-speaking actors with no opera experience, on the other hand, the sight of 3500 people applauding in the auditorium would certainly stay in their mind for a very long, long time.




紐約大都會歌劇院(The Metropolitan Opera)近期推出復刻版的爾第歌劇《阿依達》(Aida),重新詮釋知名導演索妮雅.弗里塞爾Sonja Frisell)於1988年所製作的版本,再現其中的經典橋段。此版《阿依達》以富麗雄偉的舞台效果聞名,甚至動員多達175位的龍套演員,以及4匹活生生的駿馬,來打造豪華的視覺饗宴。之所以如此勞師動眾,徵用許多連歌劇都沒看過的素人上台表演,主要是為了忠實演繹《阿依達》第二幕的凱旋進行曲,讓勝利歸國的尊榮感,可以透過壯盛的軍容來具體呈現。此外,台上的馬匹也需要透過「甄試」來挑選,確保牠們性情溫順,不易受大型場面驚擾,如此才能擔起重責。





Photo Credit ©Sinna Nasseri, Cam Pollack