Met In HD: Aida (A Quick Reaction)

Just a quick note on today’s broadcast of Aida from the Met: it was good but not great (wife nods in agreement). No, it was not due to the lack of elephants, though the three main characters were admittedly quite large. I am not against opera body types by any means, I’m all for voluptuousness and vastness, it’s just that this particular casting decision had often brought unnecessary attention to the singers’ physical proportions (and camera angles often did not help but only accentuate certain features). All throughout this long (even if very tuneful) opera I couldn’t help but think about how there must be a book about it somewhere, a book that looks at the size of operatic personnel and analyzes its ups and downs. (And then there’s Deborah Voigt’s dismissal from Royal Opera House in 2004 for being too fat – makes you think…)

The performance was quite solid, I think, and it’s almost impossible to screw up Aida, especially in such a traditional production with all that gold and Egyptian costumes stuff everywhere. I think everyone sang quite beautifully, but then again I’m no expert and as soon as I hear a familiar tune, I’m quite satisfied (unless the singer gets of rhythm or screws up a note here and there which often happened to the high priest fellow).

1 thought on “Met In HD: Aida (A Quick Reaction)

  1. The main problem with the production which likely is related to the sizes of the three main characters, is that they could not act. For all the talk by Ms Flemming that this was an opera about a triangle, it certainly did not come across. Forgetting that Act II opened with Miss Piggy on a divan, the worst fault is two lovers who are about to die together for love barely touch each other in the final scene. Miss Piggy had to stop for breath when she had to walk up a few stairs.

    Opera is drama. This production was an anachronism with fat people standing, facing the conductor and singing — and all of which is overwhelmed by enormous expensive sets and extras.

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