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Aida (1994)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Music
7.3
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This is the story of forbidden love between the Egyptian leader Radames and the beautiful Ethiopian princess Aida. Aida is captured and forced to be a slave to the Pharaoh's daughter, who ... See full summary »

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Title: Aida (TV Movie 1994)

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Cheryl Studer ...
Luciana D'Intino ...
Yvonne Barclay ...
Dennis O'Neill ...
Radamès
Robin Leggate ...
Alexandru Agache ...
Robert Lloyd ...
Mark Beesley ...
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This is the story of forbidden love between the Egyptian leader Radames and the beautiful Ethiopian princess Aida. Aida is captured and forced to be a slave to the Pharaoh's daughter, who is also in love with Radames. When the Ethiopian enemies headed by Aida's father invade Egypt, Aida is faced with a dilemma - whom should she support, her father or her beloved Radames? Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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Version of Aida (1985) See more »

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A good Aida but I wasn't blown away by it
27 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

So far of all the Aidas I've seen, the 1989 Met production is my favourite, while Sherrill Milnes's vocally fatigued Amonasro is rather disappointing(considering how good this baritone was in his prime) it does have the grandest sets, was sheer perfection musically, the most heroic Rhadames in the name of Placido Domingo and the best Aida(in my opinion) of the past twenty-five years or so in Aprile Millo.

This 1994 production is not the worst either, that goes to the 1953 film/production. In fact, this Aida is quite good. What was it I wasn't completely crazy about? Well, while the picture quality, sound and video directing are fine, the costumes and sets are unspectacular. The sets are rather drab and deserving of much more majesty, and the costumes, with the soldiers looking like samurai and Aida and Amneris wearing garments reminiscent I agree of Flash Gordon, like the 1985 La Scala production(which I did like mostly for Ghena Dimitrova's Amneris and Nicolai Ghiaurov's Ramfis) took me out of the setting.

The staging was mostly very effective. Celeste Aida and O Patria Mia are nicely understated, and the duet between Aida and Amonasro in Act 3 has a very powerful impact as does the final scene. The Grand March was disappointing however, it is not the most ineptly choreographed Grand March, that's still the 1985 La Scala production, however while the dancers dance with efficiency, the choreography in general is lacking in grandeur and looks rather dull in the movements.

Singing and acting was also very good, but there is one performer I didn't like very much. That was Mark Beesley as the King, good voice but the way he acts on stage made me feel very uncomfortable for him.

That said, musically this Aida can't be faulted. The orchestra are superb, playing with style and vigour as well as pathos, and the conducting is precise and very musical bringing much out of this magnificent score. The chorus sing with glorious sound in their big Act 2 chorus, which is certainly very stirring.

Dennis O'Neill is a little strained and uncomfortable with the long phrases in Celeste Aida, but he has a beautiful tone and as an actor he is suitably noble and heroic. Luciana D'Intino is excellent as Amneris, Alexandru Augache has a stately presence as Amonasro and has a "voice of a sturdy oak" and Robert Lloyd is a memorable Ramfis. Best of all is Cheryl Studer, who is wonderful as Aida, wonderful voice and very dramatically committed.

Finally, the final scene. In a long time, I have not been moved so much by this long but very emotional final scene as I was here. All in all, a good Aida. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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