Oct 29, 2010

Aida by the Canadian Opera Company

Photo Credit: © 2010 Michael Cooper. COC.ca
Let me make this clear from the very beginning – nothing can make Verdi’s Aida bad. The music is so amazing that  it overpowers the most horrible production. Just close your eyes and enjoy the opera without ever looking on stage.
COC’s Aida surprised me very much, and not in a good way. I was anxiously waiting to see the magnificent Egypt – golden sand, elaborate costumes, sphinxes,  pyramids… 

Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I’ve realized that Egypt was swapped for a cross between  a South American-like dictatorship and Castro’s Cuba. The costumes were boring, the colors were dull, and the production itself was very confusing. Capa, who is always better than me in digging the underlining meaning, couldn’t figure it out either. There was only one scene that  made me hold my breath – the dance of priestesses – but it made the rest of the production look even more utilitarian and colorless.

We were furious up until the intermission, and then we just let go… The soloists were great (Rosario La Spina as Radames, Jill Grove as Amneris, and Michele Capablo as Aida), so we stopped following the subtitles  and performance and just concentrated on absorbing Verdi’s music.

I hope COC treats us to some classic  productions with grand costumes and beautiful stage sets. I am hungry for an opera that deserves wearing an evening gown to it, that calls for champagne in celebration of glorious music.  One can only hope… And for those of you who enjoy the classic opera, here is a great little video.


Aida runs till Nov 5. For more info or tickets go to coc.ca.


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