Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Verdi - Aida|
Actors: Maria Chiara, Dolora Zajick, Kristjan Johannsson, Juan Pons, Nicola Ghiuselev
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Excellent Sets and Costumes but Second-Rate Aïda & Radamès
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 01/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is visually one of the classiest Aïdas I've ever seen, with sumptuous sets and costumes taken directly from suggestions made by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette who had (anonymously) suggested the topic to Verdi for an opera set in Egypt. But musically this is strictly a bush-league production. The orchestra sets the tone for what is to come in an out-of-tune prelude. And their playing doesn't get much better. Icelandic tenor Kristján Jóhansson, as Radamès, has a fairly pleasant voice but he resorts to bawling in his upper range, his acting is wooden, and frankly his big aria 'Celeste Aïda' is excruciating. But this is nothing compared to the squawly Aïda of Maria Chiara who was fifty-three and whose voice was worn and wobbly when this Verona Arena production was presented in 1992. She may have been a much better singer earlier in her career but here she is difficult hear. The secondary characters fare better: Delora Zajick is a fine Amneris, Nicola Ghiuselev makes an impressive Ramfis, Juan Pons a reasonably good Amonasro. Outstanding is Carlo Striuli as Il Re.
I love productions that are as visually rich and apt as this one, but I'm really heartsick that the musical values are so unacceptable in this DVD.
Avoid this one unless you just have to have the visuals.