Horses, caravans, pageantry…must be AIDA!
The 2018-2019 season of the live Met HD broadcasts began Saturday, and it opened with a spectacular production of AIDA that clearly brought the house down in New York, and had a similar effect on the people where I watched the broadcast.
Anna Netrebko, who was sensational in last season’s TOSCA, was an intense and captivating Aida. As Ms. Netrebko has moved from lyric roles to more weighty repertoire, her voice has developed some gorgeous richness, but her lyricism is still evident in her high pianissimos, which are nothing short of breathtaking.
Her O Patria Mia can be seen here:
In the role of Aida’s rival, Amneris, was the marvelous Anita Rachvelishvili. This was my first opportunity to see Ms. Rachvelishvili, and I cannot wait until my next time. She played a jealous lover filled with anger, but served it up with a side of vulnerability, and she seems to be driven almost mad by her love of Radames, and the impossibility of them being true lovers.
As Radames, Aleksandrs Antonenko was very disappointing. His Celeste Aida was uneven, and schmaltzy and had not even a smack of dramatic commitment beyond stock hand gestures and a “sad” face. Next to these powerhouse women, he just never amounted to one who would deserve their love and passion for him.
Baritone Quinn Kelsey, as Aida’s father, sang beautifully, and with great ease, and Ryan Speedo Green gave a fine performance as the King, and was particularly delightful in the backstage interview, as he referenced that his headpiece looked like a bowling pin. (It kind of did.)
Next up will be:
Samson et Dalila