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Madrid opens the opera season with myriad Aida casts and a shock – Seen and Heard Worldwide


Krassimira Stoyanova (Aida), Piotr Beczala (Radamès) and Jamie Barton (Amneris) © Javier del Actual

SpainSpain Verdi, Aida: Refrain and Orchestra of the Teatro Actual / Nicola Luisotti (conductor). Teatro Actual, Madrid, 24, 25, 26.10.2022. (JMI)

Manufacturing:
Director, Units and Costumes – Hugo de Ana
Lighting – Vinicio Cheli
Choreography – Leda Lojodice
Video – Sergio Metalli

Solid:
Aida – Krassimira Stoyanova / Anna Netrebko / Roberta Mantegna
Radamés – Piotr Beczała / Yusif Eyvazov / Jorge de León
Amneris – Jamie Barton / Ketewan Kemoklidze / Sonia Ganassi
Amonasro – Carlos Álvarez / Artur Ruciński / Gevorg Hakobyan
Ramfis – Alexander Vinogradov / Jongmin Park / Simón Orfila
The King of Egypt – Deyan Vatchkov
Messenger – Fabián Lara
Priestess – Marta Bauza / Jacquelina Livieri

Teatro Actual opened the brand new opera season with this Verdi masterpiece and the presence within the Royal field of King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who have been obtained with applause by the general public.

For such a special day Teatro Actual, determined to once more stage the well-known Aida by Hugo de Ana (a co-production with the Abu Dhabi Pageant) which premiered right here in 1998 and was revived in 2018. It mirrors the same old idea of his works: giant units, good costumes and poor stage path. On this case, it appeared as if we had been transferred to the Verona Area, which has held quite a few de Ana stagings.

De Ana has revised the unique staging and made some modifications, amongst them quite a lot of video projections. After all, we’re in clearly in Egypt, with an obelisk in Act I and pyramids within the background. The Triumphal March takes place in a form of Roman theater with stairs on which the refrain is positioned.

As in 2018, the musical path was below Nicola Luisotti, whose studying had two totally different elements. The primary two acts have been quite flat and even noisy, not what I count on from this excellent maestro, and particularly in Verdi operas. Happily, issues improved remarkably within the final two acts, the place there was the emotion I had missed within the first half. The Teatro Actual orchestra and refrain gave effective performances.

Within the first forged, Aida was carried out by soprano Krassimira Stoyanova who – if I’m not mistaken – was making her debut at Teatro Actual. Her voice is well-suited to the half, and she or he is a exceptional singer, however she wants extra persona in her singing to be a real star.

The cancellations of singers and their corresponding substitutions are a giant downside that opera homes and aficionados need to take care of continuously. At Teatro Actual, we witnessed one of many only a few events the place the cancellations and substitutions have been obtained with pleasure by the general public. A couple of days in the past, María Agresta, who was to sing the a part of Aida, cancelled. It was introduced that the singer changing her was none aside from Anna Netrebko, who beforehand had already been booked to sing two performances and had now added one other three.

Anna Netrebko (Aida) and Yusif Eyvazov (Radamés) © Javier del Actual

Netrebko carried out on the stage of what one expects from such an amazing soprano. She is an achieved stage performer whose voice continues to have an excellent high quality like few others, with an beautiful singing line during which her pianissimos stood out. I need to spotlight her scene on the Nile in Act III, the place ‘O, patria mia’ was a type of arias one will hear sung and will probably be lengthy remembered.

The subsequent Aida was soprano Roberta Mantegna, who confirmed the impression she left on me the primary time I noticed her on stage. Her center vary is ok, however the coloration modifications and turns into extra metallic and fewer enticing because the vary rises. For my style, she was much less profitable than the 2 Aidas who preceded her.

Radamés was performed within the first forged by tenor Piotr Beczała, who’s undoubtedly probably the most outstanding singers these days. He has an exquisite voice that he employs nicely within the service of the character and was at his finest within the final two acts. The next day, Radamés was sung by tenor Yusif Eyvazov. His voice has amplitude, and he sings appropriately. He was clearly much less convincing than Beczała the day earlier than, however he did nicely, and you need to settle for that he’s a part of the Netrebko pack.

The third Radamés was Jorge de León, whom I had not seen on stage for 3 years. At the moment, I discovered him in glorious voice, however he was much less convincing right here. He has a noticeable vibrato, though issues improved as his voice warmed up. I’m not revealing a secret by saying that his ‘Celeste Aida’ resulted in a prime observe at full voice, held for a very long time.

Amneris within the first forged was mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, who returned to the Teatro Actual after her magnificent efficiency within the La favourite live performance 5 years in the past. She was excellent because the Pharaoh’s daughter after the primary scene, the place I used to be shocked by the truth that she was virtually inaudible. Happily, issues normalized, and one might take pleasure in her lovely, broad voice. The next day, Amneris was sung by Ketewan Kemoklidze. She has a voice of a sure high quality and sings with expression, however her voice doesn’t reply to the calls for of the function – she sounds extra like a soprano than a mezzo.

Mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi is a singer who has developed her profession in bel canto operas, and her Amneris acquired my consideration. It is a vital change of repertoire, and she or he was not comfy – her voice will not be suited to one of these character. She clearly held again in Act I to have the ability to get to the large scene of Act III, which she dealt with nicely however with out brilliance.

Within the first forged, Amonasro was sung by baritone Carlos Álvarez, luxurious casting for a personality who, regardless of being necessary, will not be one of many important protagonists. He was effective, though it appeared to me that his voice didn’t have the fullness of earlier occasions. Baritone Artur Ruciński was good within the half, and has a voice suited to the function. The third Amonasro was Gevorg Hakobyan, who provided an applicable voice.

There have been good performances by Alexander Vinogradov, Jongmin Park and Simón Orfila as Ramfis, the Excessive Priest. I discovered Deyan Vatchkov because the King disappointing and beneath what’s required in a home of this significance. Within the secondary characters, I might observe Fabián Lara within the a part of the Messenger, and sopranos Marta Bauza and Jacquelina Livieri because the Priestess.

José M. Irurzun

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