The National Opera House in Bucharest (ONB) has made it a tradition, over the past few years, to put together an ever more diverse range of opera and related events.
The National Opera House in Bucharest (ONB) has made it a tradition, over the past few years, to put together an ever more diverse range of opera and related events, designed to attract as broad an audience as possible. One such initiative is the Opera Labyrinth, which we talked about with the artistic director of the ONB, Alexandru Nagy: “The new season of the National Opera House in Bucharest opens with the already traditional event called the ‘Opera Promenade,’ which has reached its 13th year. For this edition we have prepared a two-part programme, with a section consisting in daytime activities held on the lawn in front of the Opera House, and a second section – the Gala. This year we are introducing a touring performance called “Opera Labyrinth”, directed by myself, and produced together with the young artists at the “Ludovic Spiess” Music Arts Experimental Studio. “Opera Labyrinth” consists in hourly live performances and tours with the ballet corps, soloists and actors.”
Alexandru Nagy also told us about the reception of the “Opera Labyrinth”: “The public already loves it, we know that because this is already the second edition, we did it in June as well. The first edition was launched as part of an international Francophone project, “Rendez-vous au Jardin”, and now we are bringing it back, but with a new cast and with a much broader repertoire. There are more than 15 young artists who will perform every hour. It will be like a therapy session with classical music, there will be famous arias and excerpts from popular operas, as well as ballet performances. And then there is the Gala, the Grand Gala of the Bucharest National Opera House, with over 300 artists taking part, including the Opera choir, ballet and soloists, in a performance that consists in more than 25 de truly famous pieces. The 3-hour show will include video-mapping and lights shows and will have the highest sound quality for classical music.”
The project is aimed at encouraging more and more people to listen to classical music and to attend opera performances. But Alexandru Nagy says it is also about reconnection with nature: “We are expecting thousands of people to attend, every year. From one edition to the next the number of participants has grown, every year we bring out more chairs on the lawn. But we also invite listeners to bring their own beanbags, cushions, or chairs or blankets to sit on, and to use this opportunity to reconnect with nature in this exceptional atmosphere that the National Opera artists offer to the public every year.”
The popularity of the genre seems to be rising. Alexandru Nagy: “The opera has become more popular in recent years. The young generation has an increased interest in it because it is the most complex performing arts form of all and the audience seems to enjoy it. The young audience in particular sees as a challenge the work of more than 300 artists on the same show. Hundreds of people who come to see an opera show for the first time turn into fans of this genre, of classical music.”
The National Opera House in Bucharest is more tempting than ever, according to Alexandru Nagy: "The National Opera House also becomes an area of debate, where we also pose problems on a philosophical level. These conferences are an opportunity. They are like a much bigger live podcast. In our spacious hall, with over 950 seats, we offer the public the chance to meet live, face to face with their favorite guest. Prominent personalities of Romanian culture come to this debate venue, to be face to face with their audience, to be face to face with people who, otherwise, would be very hard to meet. Of course we can see them on Youtube, we can see them on TV, but the opera wants to be a public space. And that's not all that happens at the National Opera House. There are also projects like "The Green Opera ", through which we aim to create sustainable productions.” (EE)