Aida has been one of my favourite operas for goodness knows how long, and I found this arena production very effective. My favourite Aida although it is not completely perfect is the 1989 Met production though.
The story is dramatic and compelling and the music is magnificent. The costume and set design are beautiful and imperial-looking and the video directing is mostly good though the quality could've had more clarity. The orchestra play rhythmically and passionately, and the conducting is concise.
The staging while spread apart here is atmospheric and expansive. The performances are as good as you'd expect. The chorus are beautifully balanced and pitched, and the dancing is well choreographed and careful though for such a dramatic opera and scene the en pointes seemed a bit out of place.
Maria Chiara is a superb Aida and although overweight Fiorenza Cossotto is nonetheless commanding and superbly projected as Amneris. Nicola Martinucci has a splendid voice but not quite heroic enough. Amonasro is mostly powerful. If there was a weak link it was Ramfis, good voice but static, of the four or five video productions I've seen of Aida my favourite Ramfis is still Nicolai Ghiaurov of the 1985 La Scala production.
All in all, effective. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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