Cher Public

War, what is it good for?

Verdi’s ninth opera, Attila, offers all the noisy music from Nabucco without a “Va pensiero” to cherish. 

This recording is of the wonderful Peter Konwitschny production in the summer of 2013 at Theater an der Wien.  (I was there for the prima.)  The premise was that man is a warmonger from birth till death.The opera began with everyone dressed as kids who were playing war games using household items: a colander for a helmet, whisks and toilet brushes, pots and pans as weapons.

Then it moved to an office atmosphere with everyone in suits and dresses and cell phones and office equipment and furniture used as weapons. Finally, in the funniest bit of the evening, the entire cast reappeared bald and grey, tottering onstage using walkers and a wheelchair and used these as weapons.  I think Attila got bashed to death with crutches and Odabella keeled over in her wheelchair.

The cast played along with gusto and it was truly an unforgettable night, and musically quite terrific.