by Andrea Scrima
Oh patria mia, mai più ti rivedrò!
Mai più! Mai più ti rivedrò!
O cieli azzurri o dolci aure native
Dove sereno il mio mattin brillò
O verdi colli o profumate rive
O patria mia, mai più ti rivedrò!
(Oh my homeland, I will never see you again!
No more! Never see you again!
Oh blue skies and gentle breezes of my village
Where the calm morning shone
O green hills and perfumed shores
O my homeland, I will never see you again!)
Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida premiered at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on December 24, 1871. A century and a half later, David Krippendorff sets his film Nothing Escapes My Eyes, which won the Berlin Short Film Festival in 2016, in a parking garage on Meidan el-Opera, or Opera Square, erected after the opera house was destroyed by fire. Verdi’s aria Padre, a costoro schiava non sono provides the soundtrack for a work that embodies nostalgia and absence in a precision of ambiguity that does not seek to reenact the opera, but present it as a metaphor within a metaphor, one uniquely suited to express the drama of identity with all the intensity it possesses in an individual’s life. Read more »