Washington National Opera ‘Aida’ To Take Inspiration From Famed Street Artist

By David Salazar

Washington National Opera’s new production of “Aida” will not be a traditional approach.

But that isn’t to say that it will be a completely radical approach. According to a press release WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello, who will direct the new version of Verdi’s late masterpiece, is inspired by the street artist RETNA, whose work uses calligraphy, hieroglyphics, and striking colors and shapes to evoke a mythic past with a modern edge. The artist, born Marquis Duriel Lewis, is known for his vast murals and paintings on canvas.

Meanwhile, the work will be choreographed by Jessica Lang, one of the most celebrated choreographers in contemporary dance.

The production will be conducted by Evan Rogister, with a cast that includes Tamara Wilson, Ekaterina Semenchuk (alternating with Marina Prudenskaya), and tenors Yonghoon Lee and Carl Tanner.

The production opens on Sept. 9, 2017, with another eight performances thereafter. The showcase on Saturday, September 23 performance will be simulcast free to thousands of fans at Nationals Park as part of Mars Incorporated “Opera in the Outfield.”