The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Season 14, Episode 1

Aida (7 Oct. 1989)
"Live from the Metropolitan Opera" Aida (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Music
8.5
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Title: Aida (07 Oct 1989)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Aprile Millo ...
Dolora Zajick ...
...
Sherrill Milnes ...
Paata Burchuladze ...
Dimitri Kavrakos ...
The King
Margaret Jane Wray ...
A Priestress
Mark Baker ...
A Messenger (as Mark W. Baker)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Metropolitan Opera Ballet ...
Dancers
Joseph Fritz ...
Dancers
Linda Gelinas ...
Dancers
Kimberly Graves ...
Dancers
...
Himself - Conducted by
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
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7 October 1989 (USA)  »

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Version of Great Performances: Aida (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Nile, The Pyamids, and Buried Alive In A Tomb
30 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I was a teenager, here in Cincinnati, Ohio, we had our Opera in the Cincinnati Zoo and it was billed as "Opera Under The Stars" and everyone from all over the world came to experience our Opera outdoors. The first Opera I saw as a teenager was "Aida" and then later in the season a rousing version of "The Merry Widow" where the opera performers let down their hair, showed off shamelessly, and at the end, the opera snobs stood to their feet cheering! Fauso Cleva was the conductor at all the operas. I had always been fascinated by anything Egyptian and despite my music teacher advising me to see a lighter opera for my first time; I refused. For some reason I just had to see Aida. So, to know what the story was all about, I studied the opera before seeing it. You could still obtain the original N.B.C. recording by Toscanini with his protégé Herva Nelli singing Aida, and low and behold, who do you think sang Aida at my first viewing and first opera? You got it! Herva Nelli, but at that time, the form divine didn't fit the form that appeared on stage. Ms. Nelli was very much overweight and my music teacher didn't think I was very funny when I said, "No wonder they buried her in a tomb at the end! Who would want something that looked like that to live!" My music teacher was not amused! The fascinating thing about Aida is that when Verdi's Aida was first performed, he was accused of copying the way Wagner composed music, and another thing is that there is no melody in the score to keep the singers on track. Everything is sung to music without a melody and it's very hard to keep singing in the key and keep in pitch that the music is written in. Very difficult unless you're a trained singer, and when you think of it; there are two opera's in Aida and could be played as two separate opera's. The second half could easily be called Amnerus, and speaking of the old gal; no one has ever played her part correctly in all the years that I've seen the opera or heard in on recording. Amneris at the end should be totally freaked out and having a complete nervous breakdown. Yelling and screaming! Blood, thunder and guts all over the stage even to the point of rolling on the stage in her breakdown because the man she loves is going to die of suffocation with her arch rival Aida whom she hates with all the hateful passion that she can muster up in her insanity! As far as Delores Zajick is concerned; at the end when she should be completely out of it, there's one place where she looks like she's sputtering and ready to do an imitation of Shirley Temple, looking at one of the Priest's and singing, "You're a very bad man!" But, for my money, the best Aida of all time was Renata Tebaldi! So, the production is great except for those silly skirts that the male dancers are wearing in the Triumph Scene. In other versions of this opera the mens dancing costumes - well, let's say, they might as well be wearing band aids, but I would like to see the tempo of the music a little faster and see the opera performers ham it up and have fun performing this wonderful opera to the point that it could be called a Classic Camp Opera! Everone is just too stiff and refeened! Yes, I spelled it right - refeened!


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