Fair goes out of love and war in Aussie opera epic
There can be few more mouthwatering settings for an all-time classic opera like Aida than Sydney Harbour.
Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Red Square, Moscow, below Mount Fuji in Japan and Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, perhaps.
But Opera Australia came as close to perfection as anyone with the backdrop of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city’s Opera House for an epic drama about war, love, betrayal and death.
American soprano Latonia Moore played Aida as a naive and reluctant revolutionary who, at the same time, had Egyptian warrior Radames (Italian tenor Walter Fraccaro) wrapped round her little finger.
Aida’s love rival and daughter of Egyptian ruler Pharoah, Amneris (Serbian mezzo-soprano Milijana Nikolic), went from superwitch to spurned lover as she resigned herself to Aida winning in Radames’ love and life and death.
This production of Aida has everything you want in an opera - drama, a love triangle, betrayal, intrigue, a trial and deathOpera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini
Almost 100 actors, 50 musicians from the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, 300 African-inspired costumes and an 18-metre tall, 15-tonne sculpture of Queen Nefertiti added a Hollywood dimension to a dream show.
As Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini said: “This production of Aida has everything you want in an opera - fantastic music, dazzling performances from some of the world’s finest singers, an outstanding orchestra and a jaw-dropping set design.
“Plus a storyline that will have people on the edge of their seats, with drama, a love triangle, betrayal, intrigue, a trial and death - Aida has it all.”
Review by Winston Brown