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Rohan Shotton
MusicWeb International, October 2013

Antonino Fogliani conducts a musically strong and visually spectacular production of Aida from Parma, bringing together a fine cast under the direction of Joseph Franconi Lee.

In a very traditional staging, Lee brings an enormous amount of visual detail to the opera. The costumes and props are elaborate and intricately detailed, and the cast wear them very convincingly.

The grand, large-scale scenes for which this opera is famed come off very well, largely thanks to the excellent singing of the chorus. They make an impressive sound at every opportunity…Blocking is mostly clear and effective…

The principals vary between very good and outstanding. Aida and Amneris lead with superb performances, extracting every ounce of the psychological drama of the later acts. Susanna Branchini as the title character sings with a beautifully rounded, measured tone throughout her range…

The two kings and Ramfis sing with good timbre and diction…They give strong performances in their dramatic roles…

The orchestra, under Fogliani’s direction, play with a brilliant palette of colours. They are unfailingly sensitive to the action above them, but also provide many moments of shimmering beauty in their own right. Fogliani’s sense of structure is mostly very good, maintaining a good pace through most of the opera.

The camerawork is excellent at capturing the action in all its dramatic and visual detail without ever feeling cluttered. Sound is clear and well-balanced. This is a strong and satisfying performance on the whole…Anselm Gerhard’s booklet notes, and a ten minute background to the opera serve as good introduction. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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