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Arena di Verona: un’Aida “di cristallo” celebrating the 100° Festival broadcasted Worldwide

15 December 2023

HIKARI created a special custom-made solution. The result was an unprecedented staging of Verdi’s masterpiece curated by Stefano Poda. Starring Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov. 


A look to the future and a constant dialogue with the past: the new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s AIDA opened the hundredth edition of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival. Transparent pyramids and architectures of lights were inserted into the spaces of the Roman amphitheatre, evoking a technological but intimate and recognizable AIDA at the same time. The direction was entrusted to a multifaceted artist like Stefano Poda, making his debut at the Arena.

Hikari, a “custom-made” specialist in the lighting sector, was the company responsible for developing a technical solution capable of satisfying the needs of the Direction and the Foundation. Complete compliance with monumental constraints to limit disturbances and maximize the effect during video shooting. After careful analysis and evaluation, Hikari found an ideal solution. The system met expectations and the shows went on stage without any technical problems. Describing his show, direction, sets, costumes, lights and choreography, director Poda commented as follows: “The audience will find themselves in front of a large installation: the modern is not a chase for current events, but a leap into the future. The heritage of ancient Egypt becomes that of Verdi’s genius, which is transformed into an all-Italian treasure represented in a secular cathedral, a sacred and millenary place ready to gather all the best energies of Italy“.

The lighting of the steps of the amphitheatre, as conceived by the director Stefano Poda, found in the technological solution created and supplied by Hikari the ideal solution for the representation of this work, also enhancing the imposing internal structure of the Arena of Verona, underlining in some scenes have a strong visual and emotional impact. It could only be the most performed and loved work by the public, to open the centenary of the festival. Poda’s poetic vision has returned a highly innovative AIDA compared to the traditional stagings in the Veronese amphitheatre. “The stage will be a small universe full of a thousand experiences – comments the director – it will be technological, dynamic, changing, surprising… but at the same time, the ambition is to develop a recognisable, familiar, human-scale journey: Dante’s journey, from a world in conflict to an intimate story. Reconciling these two sides, grandeur and intimacy is the challenge in tackling a title like AIDA“. The world at war of AIDA took shape on stage with over 300 faces – including soloists, choir, dancers and mimes – who will wear clothes inspired by Paco Rabanne and Capucci and helmets that shine like the works of Damien Hirst.

It is the culmination of years of work”, said Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager and Artistic Director of Fondazione Arena, “after the consolidated restoration work and the two years of the pandemic. Even during the most difficult moments, Arena di Verona has remained a point of reference for the Art of Italian Opera Singing, which is now a candidate for the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage, a source of inspiration and entertainment, as well as a driver of the economy and tourism. This success has been made possible by all those who work at the Fondazione, the Board of Trustees, the Institutions and the joint forces of the patrons of the 67 Columns for the Arena di Verona, a project now in its third year of partners and sponsors. Our heartfelt thanks go to all of them”.

This work is possible thanks to the support of the Arena di Verona Foundation staff and technical operators collaborating in view of a relevant event for the city and, more generally, in the cultural field. The exceptional nature of this edition is also reflected in the number of private sponsors. A number of new brands were involved in addition to the historical partners. Among the long-term sponsors, Fondazione Arena di Verona would like to thank first of all UniCredit, which boasts a longevity of collaboration of over 25 years, Calzedonia, Pastificio Rana, Volkswagen Group Italia, DB Bahn, RTL 102.5. Joining the team of official sponsors were Metinvest/Saving Lives, Genny, who designed the new uniforms for the staff responsible for welcoming the public and Müller, who took charge of the accessibility projects dedicated to people with disabilities. Among the official partners, historical brands such as Veronafiere, Air Dolomiti, A4 Holding, Casa Sartori, SABA Italia, SDG Group and the Cultural Partner Palazzo Maffei joined by Acqua Dolomia, Sanagol and Mantova Village.

A dutiful thanks is also due to the companies, private individuals and professional associations that make up the ranks of the 67 Colonne Membership for the Arena of Verona, founded by Gianluca Rana, of the pasta factory of the same name and by Sandro Veronesi, patron of the Calzedonia Group, who arrives this year in its third edition.


The technical partnership: Hikari

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