I’ve been thinking about reviewing plays, concerts, games and books for a while now, mostly just to increase the reflective thinking from my point of view, but also to have some place to recall passed happenings. I’m going to try this out now, and write a short review of the Opera me and Linda went to see two nights ago, on a cold November Monday evening. So, here it goes, my very first publically available review:
Aida at the Royal Swedish Opera, originally by Verdi.
The classic opera Aida is set during an invasion of Egypt, were a love story between a commander of the Egyptian forces and the handmaiden of the princess of Egypt.
The handmaiden Aida is conflicted between her heritage, as her father is the king and leader of the intruding nation, and her deep love for the Egyptian commander Ramadès. This opera used a temporal hybrid between ancient Egypt, with references to the old gods, and modern warfare with automatic weapons.
There was so many things that were so very excellent in this show. The very first thing that struck me, beside of the magnificent use of the curtains, stage props and lighting, were the amount of performers on stage. At multiple times there were more than 40 performers, which definitely increased the feeling of grandeur that the play deserves. The costumes were both traditional robes mixed with modern, tactical gear made for warfare. This mixture gave me chills down my back with frequent intervals, but I can’t let go of the feeling that it felt a bit too forced with the obvious modernised props and weapons. It didn’t feel compatible with the old temples and the use of messengers instead of communication devices.
The lead trio, consisting of Miriam Triechl as Amneris, Maria Katzarava as Aida and Andrea Carè as Ramadès were all some of the best performers I’ve seen on an opera stage. Body language was constantly as near-perfect as their singing. The music, conducted by Domingo Hindoyan, was also without flaw. Still, the greatest hero of this play was definitely the director Michael Cavanagh, who excellently used the sets movement options as a major part of the expression of the story, together with fantastic lighting. I truly hope I get to see something made by Mr. Cavanagh again.
All in all, this was the best opera I’ve seen, and left me dreaming and longing for future opportunities.
Directing and scenography: 5/5
Acting and singing: 5/5
Set décor and costumes: 4/5
Today’s photo: pine cones covered in frost.