Reviewed by Paula Citron
Canadian Opera Company
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Conducted Johannes Debus
Directed by Tim Albery
Performed by Sondra Radvanovsky, Rosario La Spina, Jill
Grove, Scott Hendricks, Phillip Ens and Alain Coulombe
Four Seasons Centre, Oct. 2 to Nov.5, 2010
Tim Albery has directed, if you can believe, a modern day version of Verdi’s epic opera Aida, and in some bizarre way, it
His setting is the 1960s and costume designer Jon Morrell has come up with clothes for the female chorus that make them look like Miami Beach ladies at a bar mitzvah. Hildegard Bechtler’s period set is perfect for 1960s atmosphere.
Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky was born to sing Aida. She is brilliant at playing with nuance in her voice. Incidentally, she’s
a dowdy cleaning lady, so how Radames saw her beauty is anyone’s guess.
Roasario La Spina as Radames is a very good Verdi tenor. Baritone Scott Hendricks as Amonasro, and basses Phillip Ens as Ramfis and Alain Coulombe as the King are all excellent. Mezzo-soprano Jill Grove as Amneris has a bit of a wild pitch but comes through when it counts.
Conductor Johannes Debus in the pit is superb.
Aida continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Nov. 5