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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Aida to treasure
A cast like this is practically impossible to find or replicate today. Pavarotti and Dimitrova were in their prime (the latter would "progress" to the Aida rle shortly afterwards) and Maria Chiara, in spite of a tentative start, amply shows that she still was in very fine form, her portrayal soon growing into a warmth and securenes seldom seen. The Ronconi production was...
Published on 20 Oct 2004 by Plaza Marcelino

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sets and Costumes; Excruciatingly Bad Ada & Radamès
This is visually one of the classiest Adas I've ever seen, with sumptuous sets and costumes taken directly from suggestions made by French Egyptologist August 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...
Published on 21 Jan 2007 by J Scott Morrison


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Aida to treasure, 20 Oct 2004
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Plaza Marcelino (Caracas Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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A cast like this is practically impossible to find or replicate today. Pavarotti and Dimitrova were in their prime (the latter would "progress" to the Aida rle shortly afterwards) and Maria Chiara, in spite of a tentative start, amply shows that she still was in very fine form, her portrayal soon growing into a warmth and securenes seldom seen. The Ronconi production was spectacular and shed some of the traditions that tended to be the norm (like dancing, remember the ballets were asked for by Verdi to accomodate Parisian tastes when the original production moved from Cairo to Europe) and thence you will encounter the ballet music firstly to accomodate pranks by kids who brusquely interrupt the languor and peacefulness of Amneris's bath, and later to accompany some heavy labouring by slaves in the triumphal scene. Mazzel's conducting is precise and to the point, the La Scala orchestra irreproachable as is also the very idiomatic chorus. And what's more, to have Ghiaurov, Buchuladze and Pons to support Pavarotti, Chiara and Dimitrova as Amonasro, the Paraoh and Ramfis was a splendid luxury only a theatre like La Scala could attract. The opera was recorded live some 15 years ago and, along with the Met's rival version with Millo and Domingo on a DG dvd, belong in any collection. You can't go wrong with either, although I'd slightly prefer this La Scala production, in spite of the lack of ballet criticised by some colleague reviewers. And don't mind the (for me unobtrusive) nudity that accompanies the Amneris' bath scene, frowned upon from some corners in the USA: after all, it's only natural that people undress to bathe!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sets and Costumes; Excruciatingly Bad Ada & Radamès, 21 Jan 2007
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J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Verdi: Aida [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is visually one of the classiest Adas I've ever seen, with sumptuous sets and costumes taken directly from suggestions made by French Egyptologist August 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 Ada' is excruciating. But this is nothing compared to the squawly Ada 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 in this DVD are so unacceptable.

Avoid this one unless you just have to have the visuals.

Scott Morrison
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3.0 out of 5 stars set and costumes, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Verdi: Aida [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
ok the grandmarch doesnt quite excite as it should
and dolora zacjick is great as amneris but i found maria chiara too far gone for a believable aida
tenor loud and scandinavian. only juan pons looking like a lion blacked up sing to the size of verone with his big instrument
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Verdi: Aida [DVD] [2006]
Verdi: Aida [DVD] [2006] by Maria Chiara (DVD - 2006)
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