by Giuseppe Verdi
performed by the Varna Opera theatre
Aida is maybe one of the most famous works of Verdi and in classical music in gerenal.What can be said about Verdi's ability to take a not so riveting libretto(story) and turn it into a dramatic masterpiece?The core is the story of the slave girl Aida in the Egyptian kingdom and her doomed love with Radames who goes to war with her own father the Ethiopian king.
Moreso Aida offered stunning costumes,the always great chorus of our local opera house and ballet in addition.
I can not think of a better Radames I have seen live than Kamen Chanev of Bulgarian ancestry who works abroad in Austria.He has the presence and the dramatic voice for the portrayal of the chosen leader.I include earlier recording of him in the iconic Celeste Aida aria here:
The title role goes to Aida(
) Shved of Ukraine a girl with a fragile lyric soprano who failed to cut it for me.I am spoiled with the Price recordings after all :P
The true star was mezzo soprano Agunda Julaeva as the sinful pharaoh's daughter Amneris.A true Verdi heroine.
Now the conductor(Ivanov this time)...our conductors always bother me and fail to bring out the best out of the score.Everything sounds too monochronic with them,while Verdi is all about the juicy undertones and nuances.The orchestra does the best they can under his guidelines.NID.
Overall it was a wonderful experience.
For starters unfamiliar with the opera I recommend the recent 2012 recording at the Metropolitan with superstar Alagna(though imo Chanev is the better singer with more depth) and Monastyrska.