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A punchy Aida at the Royal Opera

After the last not so successful Aida at the Royal Opera (the night I went, someone in the audience shouted "get on with the bloody singing" during some mannerist movements on stage), there was much anticipation of David McVicar's production of this Verdi masterpiece. The stage design (by Jean-Marc Puissant)  had a dark, industrial and gritty look. The 3-d elements were creatively used to give the stage interest without being intrusive.
Micaela Carosi (as Aida) had a powerful voice and delivered some good acting. Amneris (Marianne Cornetti) had the right kind of highly strung and gutsy voice. The decidedly-chubby Marcelo Álvarez sang a decent Radames - though his opening aria Celeste Aida could have been sung with greater sensitive and observance of the morendo marking at the end would not go amiss. There were lots of people on stage, but my guess was that less than half were singers (there were acrobats, lots of dancers, some muscle-bods) - so while the Royal Opera chorus came out strong, the sound lacked that big chorus feel.

Nicola Luisotti (conductor) didn't hang about in the pit: the tempi were very progressive which made this potentially long and stogy opera exciting and punch.


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