Ellen Kent and her company never fail to pull off what might seem impossible and with her touring production of Aida she has done it again. This impressive production manages to present one of the grandest of operas with style and panache, great costumes, an impressive set and a full orchestra all in the intimate setting of Brighton’s Theatre Royal. Few would attempt it but Kent does!
Of course the key to the success has to be the quality of the music and this she produces too with an excellent hand picked orchestra, well drilled chorus and excellent soloists. Ecaterina Danu is a strong Aida and Liza Kadelnik equally powerful as Amneris, both passsionate. Giorgio Meladza makes a vocally fine Radames but as yet has not found a way of releasing his inner actor, but the voice is stunning especially in the ensemble pieces. Praise too for the beautiful tones of Vadym Chernihovskyi as Ramfis, confident and resonant. If I had one criticism it would be that cloaks in costumes can lead to an awful lot of unnecessary swishing and that at times detracted from the passion of the music, kill the capes!
The addition of a few special effects, fire spinning and golden cascades this time, is something of a Kent hallmark and both add to the spectacle.
Theatre Royal Brighton