320 Attila Metropolitan Opera, New York – Herzog de Meuron

Verdi‘s Attila captures a crucial moment in the history of Italy when an old world – the world of ancient Rome – collapses, making room for new energies that fuel a new world rising out of the ruins. Verdi wrote his opera in the middle of the 19th century, another crucial moment when the lands of Italy, disunited since antiquity, began to take shape as a nation.

“In designing the stage set, we did not focus on the potential historical analogy between the decline of ancient Rome and the rebirth of Italy as a nation, but rather on the theme of destruction as a prerequisite for renewal. In close alignment with Verdi, we chose two images that function in stark mutual contrast: the rubble and ruins of a devastated city in the prologue and an impenetrable forest in acts one, two, and three.” – Herzog & de Meuron