At this point, it’s a race against time: talks are continuing with hope and optimism that Angel Blue will honor her commitment to perform in “La Traviata”, following her previous statement that she would not be performing this month at the Arena di Verona. The artist is blaming Italians for resorting to “blackface” during the staging of a performance of “Aida” based on a 2002 production by late director Franco Zeffirelli. The soprano has been openly critical of using what she has called “archaic” theatrical practices, referring to them as “offensive, humiliating, and outright racist.”
But according to a statement released today by the Arena di Verona Foundation, the “production’s characteristics were well known when Angel Blue knowingly committed herself to sing at the Arena”, going on to state that, “We have no reason nor intent whatsoever to offend and disturb anyone’s sensibility.”
Here below is the official Press release:
“Fondazione Arena di Verona’s principal aim has always been to create peace through the spread and development of music and art.
Culture creates bridges.
The current production of Aida was premiered in 2002: 20 years ago, and, since then, performed in many opera seasons. For this reason, the statement that the current production of Aida is “recent” is therefore incorrect.
The 2022 Festival, including Aida, was announced in September 2021.
The agreement between Fondazione Arena and Angel Blue, represented by her management, was reached almost a year ago, as for all other singers committed to the Festival.
The 2022 première of Aida took place on 18th June.
This production’s characteristics were well known when Angel Blue knowingly committed herself to sing at the Arena.
Every country has different roots, and their cultural and social structures developed along different historical and cultural paths. Sensibilities and approaches on the same subject might widely vary in different parts of the world.
Common convictions have often been reached only after years of dialogue and mutual understanding.
We have no reason nor intent whatsoever to offend and disturb anyone’s sensibility.
We reach with deep emotions people from different countries, from different religious contexts, but for us all people are equal.
We believe in dialogue, in effort to understand others’ point of view, in respect of consciously assumed artistic obligations.
Angel, we and the audience of the Arena di Verona look forward to meeting you: it will be the opportunity for dialoguing in a constructive and concrete way, beginning with your reflections. The digital world does not create the same empathy that only direct contact can bring about: just as in Theater.
Contraposition, judgements, labelling, lack of dialogue only feed the culture of contrasts, which we totally reject, and we also appeal to everyone to work together to avoid divisions.”