Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Verdi - Aida / Chiara Cossotto Martinucci Scandola Zardo Zanazzo Gudagno Verona Opera|
Actors: Maria Chiara, Fiorenza Cossotto
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Verdi?s grand opera Aida was composed for the new Cairo Opera House, built in 1871 as part of the celebrations to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. In Aida, Verdi created a masterpiece of spectacular opera in the Italian... more »
LIVE and ALIVE
Gautam Rajadhyaksha | Mumbai,India | 08/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are several AIDA performances now available on DVD.I would rate this as one of the best. For a Live performance at the Arena di Verona, it has been well shot and well recorded.Though all singers and conductor acquit themselves with merit, the show belongs to Chiara and Cossoto. Though fairly limited in the acting department, Chiara who began as a glorious lyric soprano had, by this time developed into a fine dramatic voice.Her 'Ritorna Vincitor!','O patria mia' and the entire Nile Scene is stunning..as can be judged from the well deserved applause she receives after each of Aida's great pieces.(Chiara's later DVD Aida with Pavarotti pales in comparison)Cossotto, though terribly overweight at this point, sings as none of her contemporaries could.Martinucci, the Rhadames is competant without being the Star- his lady companions take care of that.All in all, a DVD to return to over and over again-as I've done from the earlier issued VHS to the newly released DVD."
The Ultimate Aida
Viewer | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was recorded in 1981.
The sound quality is very good, and the picture quality is fair enough.
Both Chiara and Cossotto were already very famous at this stage.
The two of them knew how to behave in front of an enthusiastic audience, especially Cossotto, whose diva-like manners are typical.
Nevertheless, you can't expect better portrayals of the ethiopian princess and her egyptian rival.
Martinucci is far more modest. It looks like he was embarrassed from the amount of clapping after his aria.
He deserved no less!
His singing and acting are such to be put rightly in the same line as the female singers above.
The rest of the cast is good, the orchestra gives a colourful support and the ballet is lovely.
In conclusion, an almost perfect production."
Terrible visual experience!
Neil Short | 04/19/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The reason anybody would be interested in this DVD is its historical value. The singers are classic. The particular stage production is of interest. The actual performance is very good.
On the other hand, I find the video very difficult to watch. The cameras that are close to the stage are set below stage level so that no character can be filmed full-view. Everybody is cut off at the knees.
The choices of shots is wrong 33% of the time. The camera often zooms in on Aida while Amneris is delivering lines. The wrong actor is often featured on screen.
Closeups are infrequent; so actual acting is usually left out. There are too many wide angle shots in which the beautiful massive stage is featured while it is difficult to tell if there is anything actually going on on that stage or if there is even anybody standing on it.
All the wide shots are made with the actors' legs chopped off at the thighs while the space above the actors' heads takes up most of the screen.
Watching the video is an aggravating experience. I tried to just listen and not watch and that experience is inferior to just listening to the opera on one of my CDs. The outdoor wind is evident and the thin and simple 2-channel stereo is not rewarding.
I bought this DVD on the strength of the four 5-star reviews on the product. I am very disappointed in the purchase. I'm thinking of returning it even though I'll only get a 50% refund.
Unless you are interested in the historic performance value you will not appreciate the production."
Not the best Aida
Robert Baksa | new york state | 04/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Other reviewers have been very favorable about this performance but I found it disappointing. Granted the spectacular staging is hard to beat but I felt that the conductor didn't quite hold his forces together. Its not easy to do when everything is so spread out. There are many places where the rhythms are shaky. Chiara is good, as she is on the DVD conducted by Maazel. I like the Rhadames but he is not really heroic in either build or voice. Here Pavarotti is superior even if he doesn't look like a warrior. With his sheer size he is heroic and the voice is without peer. The big let down for me is Cossoto. She is a handsome woman with an attractive mezzo which has never spread into a wobble during her long career. But everything she does is so one dimensional. By contrast, Dimitrova on the Maazel set gives a performance full of nuances. Some have noted that she was miscast as Amneris but I don't see why. Being heavy and middle aged gives her more reason to be frustrated in her rivalry with Aida for Rhadames'affection.
Maazel gives a tighter performance than the Arena conductor. I concede this without really being a fan of Maazel in general.
Some mention should be made of the recently released performance directed by Zeffirelli in the Busoto theater using young unknown singers. In sharp contrast to the Verona performance the stage is extremely small but beautifully set. One lovely touch is to see the temple dancers looking very much like figures in Egyptian wall paintings. The singing, as one might expect from the largely unknown cast, is somewhat uneven. But there is enough fine singing to make the set a worthy addition to any library as a second Aida.