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Epic opera with a cast of two and a piano


Verdi’s Aida Abridged comes to the Auto and General Theatre on the Square from January 11 to February 1, an epic opera with a cast of two.

The Auto & General Theatre on the Square presents, as its opening production for 2019, a reduced take on the epic opera, Aida.

Aida Abridged boasts now a cast of two and a pianist! The production opens with previews from the 11 January.

Verdi's most famous opera, often staged with a company of 200 singers, is reimagined for a talented cast of two men. The epic story of love and loyalty gets a serious downsize in this wacky and outlandish version directed by multi-award winner, Greg Homann. With inventive staging and the strong vocal talent from Clint Lesch and Len-Barry Simons, with Wessel Odendaal on the piano, Aida Abridged is a fresh and fun take on an operatic classic.

The dynamic and versatile duo of Lesch and Simons have worked with Homann to create an entirely original and unique piece of theatre. Homann says, "Our production is best described as a musical comedy – it's not the dramatic opera it once was." He adds, "We are not doing Verdi in any purist way, but we are paying homage to the original work by playing with it to create this entertaining and stripped-down version of the original."

The highly theatrical staging makes use of hat-stands, cleverly chosen props, and a large roll of brown paper to create the world of the story. This includes a cheeky treatment of the famous Triumphal March where the two actors attempt to bring ancient Egypt onto stage.

Aida Abridged premiered on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival in 2018 where it delighted young and old audiences. The new production at Sandton’s Auto & General Theatre on the Square promises to delight music, theatre and comedy lovers.

The Herald Spotlight said: "This rejuvenated version of Verdi's opera is a true delight, with virtuoso performances by both leads."

Bookings for Aida Abridged are now open at Computicket (call 0861 915 800 or online or can be made by calling the theatre on 011 883-8606. There are group discounts for schools, holiday clubs and special interest groups.

For further media info and interviews, please call Mika Stefano on 011 883 8606.

Auto & General Theatre on the Square
011 883 8606
011 883 9673 (fax)