2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Disappointment,
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This review is from: Aida [DVD]  (DVD)I don't see this production as, in any way, being one of the Royal Opera House's best. The scenery was very unconvincing and the costumes even more so. Dennis O'Neill as Radames was wearing 'cor blimey' trousers below an upper garment that had all the appearances of being a hybrid born of a sacrilegious union between a chasuble and a bishop's mitre. Since we have reliable evidence showing how the ancient Egyptians actually dressed, why ever couldn't this have been used when designing the costumes for this production? Cheryl Studer as Aida and Luciana d'Intino as Amneris were dressed in costumes that reminded me of the Victorian clothes my great grandmother is wearing in an 150 year old photograph I have of her.
The scene depicting the warriors capering around brandishing long, straight sticks (lances?) in Act 2, Scene 2 was poorly choreographed and very unconvincing, forming a soul-destroying anti-climax to the Grand March. Worst of all, Dennis O'Neill came across as a very unconvincing Radames. His rendering of 'Celeste Aida' was the worst I've ever heard. It seemed to me that he was over-straining his voice and I was relieved when the aria came to an end. I've watched operas in which the chemistry between the prima donna and her love interest is scintillating, but anything like that was sadly lacking in this production, in which it seems to have been very much the case of: we'll sing our very best and just go through the motions. I'm sorry to be so downbeat about it all, but I have to be honest and speak as I find. I do love opera and I've seen several productions of Aida and this one simply doesn't match up.