Chris High reviews Aida on www.chrishigh.com


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Chris High theatre reviews: The Liverpool Empire 2007

VERDI

Aida: An Opera In Four Acts

Galina Bernaz, Patrizio Ha, Nadejda Stoianova, Petru Racovita, Valeriu Cojocaru, Viorel Zgardan, Ruslan Pacatovici, Irina Catarga
Conductor: Nicolae Dohotaru
The Chisinau National Opera Company

Liverpool Empire Theatre
Friday March 2nd, 2007

Aida:  promotional image

So, where does one begin? It goes without saying that Aida is without doubt one of the finest operas ever written and many much more qualified than I have reviewed it over the years. However, to say that this production was faultless would be an exaggeration.

The story is that of the Ethiopian slave, Aida (Bernaz), who has been captured by the Egyptians to serve the Princess Amneris (Stoianova). The trouble is, both women love the Egyptian hero warrior, Radames (Ha) and he has eyes only for Aida.

Having again defeated the Ethiopian armies, Radames is given the choice of whatever he wishes and, when Aida makes it known that amongst the enslaved captives is her father, Amonasro (Racovita), Radames chooses to release the prisoners and marry Amneris, so ensuring one day that he is set to rule Egypt and thus end the wars. When Rademes unwittingly reveals the plans of the Egyptian army to Amonasro, however, he is denounced as a traitor and sentenced to death by being buried alive.

Galina Bernaz, it has to be said, was superb in the role of Aida. Controlled and impeccable at all times, her glorious Soprano voice filled the auditorium with passion, emotion and power. Sadly, the same could not be said of Nadejda Stioanova, who at times had her own voice overwhelmed by a superb orchestra. This did improve as the opera continued yet, initially, the defining role of the piece became somewhat lost.

Petru Racovita and Patrizio Ha were both, in contrast, superb with Racovita stealing the show in many respects as the Ethiopian king forced into subjugation.

Without doubt, watching an Opera the magnitude of Aida is an experience and one that, on this occasion, did not fail to satisfy. The sets were glorious and the and costumes, on the whole, were excellent.

It was shame then that the whole ensemble – including a perfectly pointless dance troupe – took the best part of the first act to get “into” their roles and so do due justice to a truly inspiring work.
7/10

 

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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