Metropolitan Opera’s Spectacular Staging of Verdi Masterpiece Aida Telecast on Thirteen By: Ellis Nassour
There’s no need to book a flight to Egypt to enjoy it’s ancient and historic treasures when your have Great Performances at the Met. Friday at 9 P.M. and Sunday at 12:30 P.M. tune in to THIRTEEN’s telecast of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s four-act masterpiece Aida, staged with great splendor and massive sets as only the Met’s gigantic stage and elevators can do it justice. There’s mindboggling grandeur, singing by celebrated stars, and a cast as huge as the number it must have taken to build the pyramids. The only thing missing in this production are the elephants; however; there’re plenty of horses. If you’ve ever wondered why they call it grand opera, Aida is the definitive definition.
Voluptuous. Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska made her s triumphant Met debut in the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess in love with the Egyptian war hero and savior of the land Radamès, played by celebrated tenor Roberto Alagna. Olga Borodina completes the tragic love triangle as Amneris, the scheming, jealous daughter of the Pharaoh.
Met principal conductor Fabio Luisi is at the podium overseeing the huge Met orchestra.
The opera, which premiered in Cairo in 1871, is filled with some of opera’s most cherished music, including Alagna’s clarion rendition of one of opera’s most-beloved arias "Celeste Aida (Heavenly Aida)," which soars up, up, up into the gods; Ms. Monastyrska’s passionate "O patria mia (Oh, My Dear Country)"; "Quale Insolita (Great Joy)"; and the much-celebrated Act Two finale "O Re : pei sacri Numi! .. Gloria all’Egitto" (King by the Sacred Gods)" sung by Aida, Radamès, Amneris, and her and Aida’s fathers.
Sadly, in opera circles the lyricist is often never mentioned. Let’s correct that by noting Aida is by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on works by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette and Italy’s Temistode Solera.
Met megastar soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the cast.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by home contractors Toll Brothers, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Sybil Harrington, Irene Diamond, Philip and Janice Levin, and Agnes Varis funds, and viewers like you.