The video artist Shirin Neshat, who is directing the new Verdi Aida in Salzburg with Anna Netrebko in the title role, has been reflecting on its personal significance.
‘Both in my work and in my private life, there is this dichotomy between being a woman and political tyranny and oppression,’ she told a Salzburg audience yesterday. ‘I identify with Aida… I know how Aida must feel; you undergo a process (of exile), you realise you can go on, that you can fall in love again, adapt to the circumstances.’
Aida is a survivor, she adds, experiencing phases of nostalgia, of rage, of hope for a return – all the while accepting that there is no way back. ‘Sometimes the boundaries between Aida and myself are blurred.’