The East and the Opera

As we have pointed out on several occasions, the Opera is never static. Through the voice of its interpreters it narattes of colorful and vibrant stories, actual and past events, often set in distant lands and exotic places. If you think about how the Orient has entered in the Opera, it can not fail to come up with masterpieces such as Turandot and Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini and Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi. These are just some of the most famous operas in the world set in the Orient, loved today as then, that every year fills and inflame the stages of many theaters, having a great success with audiences and critics.

The East for us Westerners has always had a special charm. Equivalent to a dream, a distant kingdom and mysterious with colors, beauty and customs that are exotic and distant from us and by our standards, but that is precisely why they attract us intensely. As well as the Far East today attracts millions of tourists every year, even during the XVIII, XIX and XX centuries it was interpreted as a seductive place, full of attractions and exercised on writers and musicians an immortal charm. The great composers of 1700 and of 1800 were able to stage another world and to accompany the spectator who enters the theater, thanks to the impressive scenery, on a journey of discovery of impossible love, distant worlds, a wonderful elsewhere that bewitches us deeply.

orienteIn addition to the most famous and represented Operas, there are many others set in the Orient. We can cite, for example, Ali Baba by Cherubini, Aureliano in Palmira or Ciro in Babilonia by Rossini and Donizetti's Belisario. In fact the list is surprisingly long and one article would not be enough to give justice to the mastery of the composers, who charmed us with their operas. These great artists have managed to transpose on the score the fatal attraction that men feel for what they do not own, do not know or is diametrically opposed to them. Therefore it is more than understandable this interest and this cosmopolitan love for a place and a culture that for us are to the limits of the world.

The East has charmed composers, musicians, poets and artists as well as the Italian Opera has fascinated interpreters of those territories unknown to us. As if ours was an intense, unrequited love, which will never have an end.

Dario Medaglia