The Roman amphitheatre at Avenches in canton Vaud begins its season of open air opera this week with a production of Verdi’s Aida.
Over 600 people representing 14 nationalities are involved, as singers, musicians and technicians gear up for the eight performances between Thursday and July 21. Organisers say there has been a heavy demand for tickets.
"Nothing has been left to chance," says artistic director, Sergio Fontana, who added that costumes and the spectacular scenery had for months been prepared in minute detail.
But as always the organisers are forced to take a gamble with the weather. Rain would mean the cancellation of performances in the 6,000-seat open air amphitheatre.
The Albanian bass Frano Lufi plays the part of the King of Egypt, and Aida is played by the Bernese soprano Ursula Füri-Bernhard.
On Thursday evening it will be possible to follow the performance live on the Internet.
swissinfo with agencies
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