The luxurious Franco Zeffirelli production, live from La Scala, which marked his return to the house after more than 20 years! With an image up to six times sharper than conventional DVD and superior high-definition sound,... more » Blu-Ray lets you watch opera and ballet performances from the front row of the theater. Experience every detail, no matter how small, in the highest quality possible. With five times the memory of standard DVDs, Blu-Ray is a completely new way to experience the theater at home.« less
Barry J. James | Honolulu, Hawaii United States | 05/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking for a modern replacement of my old Met Opera DVD of Aida and, as someone who likes the spectacle of Grand Opera, decided to buy this Franco Zeffirelli directed version from La Scala. I noted that a number of the reviewers had mentioned the superimposed images and fade-ins and fade-outs employed by the director and how much it had annoyed them. However, I thought they were probably being too subjective and I couldn't imagine that a video director would have been given so much of a free hand that it could detract from Zeffirelli's production. How wrong I was! In the triumphal march in Act 2 the stage is full of people, the costumes are opulent, the props are magnificent, the orchestra under Chailly is building up to a climax and yet Patrizia Carmine thinks that she can improve on all of this by adding dissolves through drapes and superimposing close-ups of trumpets; not just once, but again and again. There is so much to like about this production and I no doubt will watch it occasionally, but it could have been so much better without the interference of the video director. I would go so far as to suggest that all might not be lost and the DVD could possibly be re-released without all the offensive and unnecessary additions. How novel that might be, a non-directors cut of the opera. "
Very distracting Video Direction!!!
Allan Vanegas | Vancouver, BC | 11/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful Aida production by Zefferelli at La Scala Milan. This production is a little over done but beautifully set. The singers are amazing except that I found Alagna's infamous aria "Dolce Aida" to be sung in an almost forced and yelling voice. So far, I have just watched the Acts 1&2 first DVD, and so far I can tell you that you will be dissapointed by the anoying fading of pictures throught the video. This is done in a manner that you want to scream and say stop doing that!!!Just focus on the characters and lets enjoy the performance in a way that a seating patron there was enjoying it. By, the way the ballet at the end of Act 2 was very sexy and beautifully danced. 4 stars for the singing 5 stars for the ballet and 5 star for the sets and costumes. 0 star for the video direction."
Opera Fan | New Jersey | 02/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This potentially wonderful production has been ruined by inappropiate zooming, transitions, panning, close-ups of performers and even horns. The video editing is dreadful and distracts from the beauty of the performers and the performance. This DVD could be used in a course for videographers and producers as an example of "How not to do it"."
Y. Park | Seoul, Korea | 12/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At first, I hesitated to get this because of the negative reviews here but wanted to see for myself and got it anyway. After watching, I thought this blu-ray was not bad. Yes, the video pro-production was annoying in some parts but overall I enjoyed this blu-ray. The orchestra conducted by Chailly was really good and Urmana and the other female singer did a good job. I thought Alagna sang fine but notes were sometimes not accurate. I liked the ballet and kids' dance. The PQ is somewhat disappointing: distant (zoom-out) shots don't look very clear and sharp. AQ is excellent, however. All in all, this blu-ray was an enjoyment to me. I will definitely watch it over again. I'd encourage you to see it for yourself. You can rent at least..."
Great production - most enjoyable
Mr. John A. Coulson | Australia | 07/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aida has been a favourite of mine for over 50 years but had not been looked at for awhile. So it was a great pleasure to reacquaint myself with the music. This production, filmed by Zeffirelli, is a sumptuous one although the frequent dissolves into out of focus waving cloth could be distracting at times and was a bit over done for me. But the singing is brilliant, particularly Ildiko Komlosi in the role of Amneris. For some reason I have previously always regarded the role of Aida as the pivotal one but this production clearly demonstrates the importance of Amneris with her intense passion for our hero Radames, sung by Roberto Alagna. This is not meant to depreciate the great singing of Violeta Urmanda in the title role. The chorus is great although a more powerful Ramfis than Giorgio Giuseppini would have not gone astray. The sets, costumes and lighting are top notch in this traditional presentation although the ballet scenes were somewhat wimpy. The lack of audience applause at times was puzzling as Italian audiences are unrestrainedly enthusiastic, so it is hard to imagine Zeffirelli was able to persuade them to keep silent. So, it is possible some of it was filmed without an audience although no change in acoustics was obvious. Yes, the sound is glorious and the video quality impeccable. This would be a good first opera for someone to cut their teeth on. Highly recommended. POSTCRIPT: Just read some of the other reviews (I always write mine before looking) and can appreciate others found Zeffirelli's approach distracting, but to me the singing was good enough to forgive that. Yes, it was hard to appreciate Aida, as portrayed by Violetta, as being someone to risk life and reputation for, but her brilliant singing made me overlook this. And I agree Alagna was unimpressive in the first Act but redeemed himself at the end. Yes, the final production does come through as a "stitched up" effort combining some live production with some that is not. So yes, a mixed bag, but a worthwhile one IMHO."