This is a very good production, though the 1989 Met performance is the Aida to treasure and own in my opinion. Aida is one of my favourite operas, so naturally I would want to see as many Aida productions as I can.
As I have said, I was very impressed generally with this Aida. The picture quality is often very good, especially in the Judgement scene, though the duet between Aida and Amneris could've perhaps done with less fuzz.
Sound quality has clarity, and makes full use of Bumbry's sumptuous mezzo. The costumes look great, with again Bumbry looking especially regal and Cruz-Romo looking stunning. The sets are large and appealing and the lighting has atmosphere without looking too dim.
Staging is mostly fine, the Judgement scene for me was the most impressive and most compelling scene of the production. The Grand March is efficiently done without completely blowing me over.
Wonderful singing too, especially by Grace Bumbry as Amneris. With her strong presence and limpid voice she is perfect for the role, and one of the best Amneris' whether recently or ever. Gilda Cruz-Romo is excellent, O Patria Mia is understated and poignant and Cruz-Romo's singing and acting throughout is appropriately heartfelt.
Some may find that Ingvar Wixell's somewhat dry voice mayn't appeal to them, but he as Amonasro does use the voice with firm skill and he is a great actor. His big moment in the act 3 duet between him and Aida thankfully has the powerful impact it should. Rhadames is good, if rather staid at times and there is a little strain at the top to start with. Augustino Ferrin has presence as Ramfis, if occasionally suffering from the problem that some Ramfis' do have, he can be static at times particularly in the vocal production.
All in all, a very good Aida and worth watching for Bumbry. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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