10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Stand and Deliver! Shut your eyes and listen to some fabulous singing,
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This review is from: Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro [DVD]   (DVD)
Whilst the grandeur of Ancient Egyptian architecture may have dominated the lives of the Egyptians, the sets for this production from San Francisco dwarf the singers and are a little distracting - pillars keep sliding around between scene changes! It probably looked better live in the theatre, but the spectacle tends to oppress the singers into giving decent musical performances but pretty ropey dramatic ones. I'm a great fan of Margaret Price's creamy velvet voice, but her 'acting' in this production is terribly disappointing, she doesn't look too confident with the direction, but yet manages to sing with ravishing beauty despite all the distractions around her. Pavarotti does what he does best, he stands and delivers a strong performance in his more youthful voice (recorded in 1981). Toczyska took a while to grow on me as Amneris, and it was only in the last act that I really began to enjoy her performance. Throughout, the production is terribly traditional almost to the point of dullness, the characterisations come across very much as cardboard cut-outs - but shut your eyes and enjoy some fabulous singing.