Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Aida to treasure, 20 Oct 2004
This review is from: Aida [DVD] [1986] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
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 rôle 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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3.3 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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