Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 11, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 19
Seattle Opera's Aida puts the 'grand' in grand opera
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Seattle Opera's Aida puts the 'grand' in grand opera

by Alice Bloch - SGN Contributing Writer

SEATTLE OPERA
AIDA
BY GUISEPPE VERDI
LIBRETTO BY ANTONIO GHISLANZONI
MARION OLIVER MCCAW HALL
May 6 (same cast on 5/9, 5/12 & 5/18)


A huge, ambitious production of Verdi's Aida is closing out Seattle Opera's 2017-18 season with a bang. I'm surprised and pleased to report that Aida joins another warhorse, Puccini's Madame Butterfly, as the two most exciting productions of the season.

This Aida was co-produced by four opera companies and conceived by Francesca Zambello, who has already created a number of highly successful opera productions in Seattle and who specializes in making the human story of the principal characters stand out against a large historical backdrop. (Anyone fortunate enough to have attended Prokofiev's War and Peace in 1990 will know what I'm talking about.)

Aida provides a number of big scenes; the most famous, the long Triumphal March in Act II, feels stiff and static in most productions, but not in this one! The stage is full of color and movement, with an enormous chorus and many dancers and actors attracting the audience's attention, and yet, the drama being played out among the main characters is always in the forefront. Kudos to Zambello, to stage director E. Loren Meeker, and to their design team for pulling off this feat. Artistic designer RETNA's alphabet of symbols, a kind of hybrid of hieroglyphics and graffiti, unifies the visual aspects of the busy stage. Costumes designed by Anita Yavich also help the audience track the ongoing drama by associating certain colors and fabrics with each character and with each rung in a stratified society. Jessica Lang's apt choreography seamlessly integrates ballet into the action.

One of my favorite innovations in this production is the addition of children at key moments. In the Act I scene that takes place in the chamber of Egyptian princess Amneris, women dressed in filmy, flower-patterned caftans take pleasure in the antics of young boys in military uniform. As lovely as the scene is, it's a poignant reminder that the children are already being trained for their future as warriors.

During the 'talk back' session after the Sunday matinee performance I attended, dramaturg Jonathan Dean asked what is Aida about? The answer given by one clever audience member was 'Make love, not war.' It was a good answer for this production, which emphasizes the oppressive power of military and religious authority, its ability to inflict human misery through imprisonment and enslavement of those identified as enemies.

In the demanding title role of Aida, the captive Ethiopian princess who has been forced to serve Amneris, soprano Alexandra LoBianco sang beautifully throughout; her soft high notes were thrilling. As Radamès, the Egyptian army officer who loves Aida and is loved by both her and Amneris, tenor David Pomeroy started with an unfortunately weak performance of his big aria 'Celeste Aida,' but he improved as the opera went along. His duet with LoBianco in the final scene was simply gorgeous.

Bass-baritone Alfred Walker can always be counted upon for a stellar performance, and he nearly stole the show as Aida's father Amonasro.

To my ear, Elena Gabouri's voice was unpleasant and underpowered in the important role of Amneris. In addition, her acting wasn't up to the challenge of the crucial Act IV Judgment Scene.

Under the baton of conductor John Fiore, the large company stayed together throughout, and the orchestra and chorus sounded superb. Special credit is due principal oboist Mary Lynch, for her affecting duet with LoBianco in the aria 'O patria mia.'

Even if you know Aida well enough to hum along, I think you'll find this production worth attending. And if you've never attended a performance of Aida, I can't think of a better initiation.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Seattle Opera's Aida full of spectacular moments
------------------------------
Funny family themes feel Familiar at Seattle Rep
------------------------------
It's May; it's May theater openings
------------------------------
Seattle Opera's Aida puts the 'grand' in grand opera
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
SIFF 2018 PREVIEW: An interview with Sebastián Lelio as Seattle's premiere film festival presents two opening weekend screenings of lesbian drama Disobedience
------------------------------
Cathartically gut-wrenching Tully an emotional powerhouse
------------------------------
Mediocre Breaking In a dispiriting home invasion thriller
------------------------------
Agreeably goofy Life an endearing collegiate comedy
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News