14 November 2017

Aida

I didn't celebrate Halloween this year.  I normally jump at the chance to dress up or cover my face in eyeliner, but instead I wore all black (a lace dress, witchy patent leather boots and dark eye makeup - I made a bit of an effort) and headed to the Coliseum to see the English National Opera's production of Aida.

English National Opera's Aida production, Autumn 2017 - London culture blog

Set in Ancient Egypt, Giuseppe Verdi's four act opera was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo in 1871, and features the most dramatic themes: betrayal, love, duty, and war.  Aida tells the tale of an Ethiopian princess held captive in Egypt who's in love with an Egyptian General.  He's chosen to lead a war against Ethiopia, and the heroine is torn between her love for her homeland and the man she loves.  The Olivier Award-winning director Phelim McDermott's grand staging is visually strong and distinctive, with dramatic lighting and theatrical (almost distractingly eccentric) costumes, and incredible singers: American soprano Latonia Moore as Aida and the powerful Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones as Radamès were flawless.  The award-winning Chorus and Orchestra, led by Keri-Lynn Wilson - a female conductor, hoorah! - were also fantastic.

This wasn't my favourite opera, but it was a striking production and thoroughly enjoyable evening nonetheless.  Do you have a favourite opera?

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