- Lawrence Gibbons
- Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Aida is one world’s best known operas. Graeme Murphy’s staging of Verdi’s masterpiece is both sumptuous and stunning. Set in the time of the ancient Pharaohs, the production brilliantly projects lights and images of Egyptian iconography onto a blank pyramid to evoke the fertile Nile. The Egyptian costumes are an opulent display of golden headdresses, glittering robes and flowing tunics. The captured Ethiopians, including the enslaved black queen Aida are donned in rich African textiles. A people mover at the forefront of the stage cleverly shifts characters – evoking everything from a flowing river to a carousel. Murphy uses his expertise as a choreographer to stage exciting dance sequences. Front and centre through it all is the American soprano Latonia Moore, who soars above orchestra and chorus in the title role of Aida. Texas born, Moore performed Aida at London’s Covent Garden and earlier this year she stepped into the role at New York’s Metropolitan Opera when the scheduled singer fell ill. Her New York debut earned her a standing ovation. The Australian born tenor, Rosario La Spina admirably performs the role of Ramades, the Egyptian general who secretly loves Aida. Orchestra, costumes, set, design and an outstanding cast make this an opera not to be missed.
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