I just spent a pleasant evening in a cinema in Reading (UK)watching Aida coming live from the Met. it's the first time I've seen this opera and it is a sumptuous one. Gorgeous sets, costumes & singing . I felt it was a chocolate box of an opera as it is very pretty, with all the sweetness and delight of the opera, but not very substantial from a dramatic point of view. The story is revealed in a series of scenes, and doesn't really offer the audience much to be empathic with - the Egyptian court is the Egyptian court.


The Met's set is enormous - large sets of Egyptian temples - the reveal of the Egyptian victory parade in the second act as the set in the foreground descends is amazing. However, it probably also ruins the pace as the intermissions between act 1 and act 2 are extended so the massive sets can be moved about - which means by the time you get to act 4 you've been in your seat for nearly 4 hours and patience is starting to wear thin.

The cinematography had clearly had some thought put into it as there were multiple angles and overhead shots of the ballet.

I've heard so many pf these songs on CD and on the radio, it was lovely to finally see them in the context of the opera with the wide expanse of grand opera.

That said, I don't think I'll rush to sit through the whole thing again. It's a pretty evening's entertainment, but I'm not sure if I'd get much more from a second watch - unlike Verdi's La Traviata where the drama and the music work together to produce a much more substantial punch, and is a lot more down to earth with characters and situations that I can relate to more.

It's being repeated at some cinemas in the UK this week, at least.

So, if you haven't caught it yet - I recommend it.