Share

Atop Ancient Ruins, A Rock Opera About Emperor Nero Leaves Some Romans Unimpressed

A theatre assembled amidst Roman hull to horde a stone uncover Divine Nero has led some archaeologists and art historians to malign what they see as a commercialization of a city’s heritage.

Stefano Montesi/Corbis around Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Stefano Montesi/Corbis around Getty Images

A theatre assembled amidst Roman hull to horde a stone uncover Divine Nero has led some archaeologists and art historians to malign what they see as a commercialization of a city’s heritage.

Stefano Montesi/Corbis around Getty Images

Nearly 2,000 years after he hold lean over ancient Rome, a scandalous czar is again causing outrage. The reason: Italian authorities authorized construction of a vast theatre amid a hull over a Roman Forum for a stone uncover about Nero, who ruled from 54 to 68 A.D.

Archaeologists and art historians are adult in arms, disapproval what they see as a commercialization of a country’s heritage.

On opening night Jun 6, invitation-only spectators done a steep, circuitous trek from a Forum adult a Palatine Hill. Ladies in dusk dress walked on their toes to equivocate removing their stiletto heels stranded in a aged Roman paving stones.

At a top, a perspective was impressive. Under a star-lit sky, a Colosseum and Arch of Constantine loomed usually a few dozen yards away.

What was inconsistent was a outrageous lead theatre and 3,000-seat locus mountainous over a archaeological stays of a Domus Aurea — a vast Golden House built by Nero in 64 A.D.

The assembly applauded as a initial impression seemed onstage — a wizened crone with Medusa-like hair. Notorious in ancient Rome for her unwholesome concoctions, Locusta illustrates a revisionist thesis of a musical.

“What have we been reading all these years?” she asks a audience. “History books are always full of falsehood, they’re created by a victors. I’m a usually one who knows a truth, since we was there.”

The tract line is identical to House of Cards: Thanks to murders and intrigues by his desirous mom Agrippina, Nero seizes a emperor’s throne.

Actor Giorgio Adamo, wearing a brief white tunic and high-heel boots, belts out, “I’m superstar, I’m array one,” while videos OF WHAT are projected on vast screens, acrobats hook from ropes and singers and dancers try to move ancient Rome behind to life. Adamo says his Nero is “absolutely fresh, complicated cocktail rock.”

The uncover boasts a prolongation group of Oscar- and Grammy-winning composers and set and dress designers. But a low-pitched patrician Divine Nero, a Rock Opera begs a question: Why select one of history’s many sinful emperors as a subject?

Artistic executive Ernesto Migliacci is assured Nero’s scandalous picture as a male who fiddled while Rome burnt during a city’s good glow was something invented by ancient Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonious.

The stone uncover offers a uninformed take on a story of Nero, one of history’s many sinful emperors. “His aim was to give to a Romans, to a bad people, bread, games, entertainment,” says artistic executive Ernesto Migliacci. “He attempted to make a genuine informative revolution.”

Sylvia Poggioli/NPR


hide caption

toggle caption

Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

The stone uncover offers a uninformed take on a story of Nero, one of history’s many sinful emperors. “His aim was to give to a Romans, to a bad people, bread, games, entertainment,” says artistic executive Ernesto Migliacci. “He attempted to make a genuine informative revolution.”

Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Modern historians, Migliacci says, have detected a really opposite man, one with insubordinate ideas.

“His aim was to give to a Romans, to a bad people, bread, games, entertainment,” he says. “He attempted to make a genuine informative revolution.”

But during opening night intermission, many spectators seemed unconvinced and walked out.

Audience member Luca Ragazzi could not censor his disappointment.

“I suspicion maybe it’s going be entertaining, of course, though also delivering information, story and maybe some-more refined,” he said. But “it is not polished during all, we guarantee you, it’s usually a array of killings, one after another.”

Not benefaction during a opening was University of Naples art historian Tomaso Montanari — who strongly opposes branch birthright sites into money-making party venues.

“Visitors are not consumers. Our archaeological birthright should be giveaway from marketing,” says Montanari. “It should be a place for training — not for coarse musicals like this one.”

The producers are counting on vast sheet sales among summer tourists. But during a initial week, there were usually a few hundred spectators any night.

Performances will continue by August. Then a theatre will be dismantled.