Verdi’s epic drama of ancient Egypt comes to life in the Met’s monumental production, captured here in a breathtaking Live in HD presentation. Violeta Urmana stars in the title role of the princess-turned-slave girl, opposite Johan Botha as her lover and Dolora Zajick as her jealous rival. Maestro Daniele Gatti conducts.
“We are in an ancient Egypt reimagined by Cecil B de Mille...So what's it all about? The thing that the Met does best, singing. Johan Botha is a stentorian Radames and in the later acts Zajick becomes a chilling Amneris. But it's Violeta Urmana's Aida who steals the show with melting pianissimos and thrilling top notes. Do they act? Of course not, they emote. Is there a single idea on stage. Don't be silly. Just lie back and wallow.”
“How satisfying it is to have a production of Aida that looks like a production of Aida: no Nazi uniforms, machine guns or alien spacecraft...[Botha] is on form...his unclouded timbre having a sound middle and a ringing top, and his held notes on high certainly are steady...There are some roles in which Urmana takes something of a hell-for-leather approach, but her Aida has many subtle touches.”
Click here for alternative recordings of this work.