Opera allows her spectators to dream away. Music has the potential to activate, channel and manipulate our emotions. In an opera performance, even a morally dubious character can gain the sympathy of the audience with an aria – some lyrical belcanto, precisely executed coloraturas or a begging-for-some-pity dramatic aria. Opera repertoire is rich in arias of political leaders – such as kings and emperors – expressing content similar to the messages conveyed in contemporary political addresses. Political speeches – with their skillfully mastered rhetoric and carefully staged set-ups – seduce us in the same way that opera does. Every day, politicians of all factions – opera singers alike – engage and manipulate human emotions in order to gain our support for their political goals; their rhetoric is as impressive as operatic belcanto or coloraturas. The only difference is that dreaming away in an opera auditorium leads to less consequences than dreaming away at the polling-booth.
In the opera-installation Aria di Potenza , an ensemble of opera singers, pianists and an actress performs a selection of original political speeches by the politicians that have been shaping the world scene, including Erdogan, Putin, Merkel, Clinton, Le Pen, Michel, Kaczyński, Kim Jong-un and Trump. During the climactic moment of the text, the singer switches to an aria that expresses the main emotion of the speech. All arias are part of the classical operatic repertoire (Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, Purcell) and are performed with piano accompaniment. The spectators are invited to behold one speech/aria only or to stay in the auditorium for as long as they wish.