Saturday, October 06, 2018
Aida from New York
Conductor: Nicola Luisotti
Production: Sonja Frisell
Aida: Anna Netrebko
Radamès: Aleksandrs Antonenko
Amneris: Anita Rachvelishvili
Amonasro: Quinn Kelsey
Ramfis: Dmitry Beloselskiy
King: Ryan Speedo Green
Messenger: Arseny Yakovlev [Debut]
Priestess: Gabriella Reyes, not seen [Debut]
Today was the simulcast of Verdi's Aida from the Metropolitan Opera starring Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili. This performance series was the first time these two great ladies had sung together. They were perfection together and brought us a new Aida in spite of the same old production we have been seeing since 1988. The scene with the two women together was the best I've ever seen. Anna Netrebko brings an intensity to the role of Aida that exceeds all. Anita was much more a woman in love than the usual revengeful bitch. These two ladies will sing together again in Adriana Lecouvreur later this season.
The film director has a lot of influence over the impression made by an HD broadcast. In this case the emphasis was on the two women in love with Radamès. Camera shots were often chosen for intimacy rather than pomp and melodrama.
Quinn Kelsey was beautiful as the Ethiopian King. The only disappointment was in the Radamès of Aleksandrs Antonenko. I heard so much grousing about him that I expected him to be rather more horrible than actually turned out to be the case. However, it is still true that Anna deserved better. I remember when Pavarotti made his debut in the role in San Francisco years ago, that there was a lot of grousing then, too. I often wonder about the modern state of opera singer training. He could benefit from better physical conditioning.
Nicola Luisotti was his usual wonderful self. I found that the shift of emphasis off of war and on to romance found in this performance made for a very pleasurable Aida experience.