Cutting edge stage group penned in by doomed love
Sometimes a show can fail to do justice to the actors in it, rather than the other way round.
That was the case with Aida, Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice’s 21st-century version of Verdi’s opera about conflict, jealousy, revenge and doomed love.
It was nothing to do with Act II’s performance coming just a week after Opera Australia’s faithful rendering of the original Italian masterpiece, against a backdrop of a lifetime in the form of Australia’s Sydney Harbour.
Lauren Stanhope and Matt Day, in the lead roles of Aida and Radames respectively, showed how an Ethiopian slave girl won the heart of an Eqyptian war leader who went on to sell his country out to the very people his love interest represented.
The problem with Aida is its limited scope for character exploration, something that Act II’s young performers have become renowned for under the inspirational leadership of Karl and Charlotte Gernert.
That said, the ever-reliable James Girard made the most of his brief turn as Pharoah and Amy Green stole the show as Amneris, the spurned fiancee of Radames.
But this version of Aida sold Act II’s precocious and collective talents well short
Review by Winston Brown