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Aida the opera

Aida concert pictures ~ David Gasson

Last weekend Pula was privileged to host two performances from the Croatian National Theatre .The company, Ivan Zajc, commonly known as HNK Zajc, from Rijeka, staged a stunning operatic performance and a superb musical display.


On Friday 27th July, the first performance was of the Italian ÔÇťopera of all operasÔÇŁ, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. The opera, which was first performed in 1871 is set in ancient Egypt and in four acts describes the struggle between love and loyalty. The back drop for both of these musical treasures, Aida and Carmina Burana, was the historical ancient amphitheatre in Pula which was fitting for both performance and enhanced the overall ambience.

The opera singers included ;

AIDA / Kristina Kolar / RADAMES / Walter Fraccaro / RAMFIS / Carlo Colombara / AMNERIS / Dubravka ┼áeparovi─ç Mu┼íovi─ç / AMONASRO / Giorgio Surian. The Conductor was Ville Matvejeff┬áand it was directed by Marin Bla┼żevi─ç.

The stage

The main stage is where most of the performance takes place, but the artists were in character and were performing in character even as hey walked from the back stage area. Each step they took towards the stage was tense and deliberate and added to the drama.

Date and location of these opera captures 

Pula arena / Croatia /  27.07.18


On either side of the main stage, ballet dancers waited gracefully, enhancing the overall milieu.


Behind and above the stage was a transparent cover that housed the ever changing choir. The lighting effects alternated between highlighting the choir or casting them in shadow. In front of the stage was the orchestra, conducted by Ville Matvejeff , the wide ranging musician from Finland. All these elements created a huge stage area that spanned almost the full width of the arena, not just the 20 meters of main stage.

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The performances

The performances by the main opera singers ,soloists and conductor on both nights was phenomenal, but so too were the ballerinas, choir and the very impressive orchestra. The Rijeka choir who performed on the first night and the Academy Choir Ivan Goran Kova─Źi─ç and children choirs Kap and Torretta who performed on the 2nd night were inspiring.

The Rijeka orchestra

The Rijeka orchestra ,who played both nights gave an outstanding rendition of both Aida and Carmina Burana. Both of the events were part of the Summer Classics series presenting classics of musical and stage art in the international co-productions and at unique locations. Judging by the lack of spare seats, the many different nationalities in attendance and the many standing ovations it was a huge success and I hope to see them again next summer .


After enjoying the Aida concert pictures by David Gasson then make sure to visit his GALLERY. You will find more of his work, social media & websites links.

More information

Aida was performed by the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. For more information visit their website or Facebook pages

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David Gasson

Based in Pula / Croatia

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