Opera Scotland

Aida 2014Chisinau National Opera, Moldova

Read more about the opera Aïda

The second part of the Ellen Ken company's 2013-14 tour of the British Isles, produced under the brand name Opera and Ballet International, lasted from February to the beginning of May, with a repertoire of Aïda, La bohème and Nabucco. As usual, the performers were the Chisinau National Opera and National Philharmonic Orchestra from Moldova. Soloists were also largely from Eastern Europe, generally offering well-schooled voices, with a good sense of the necessary style. They are worked hard on these tours, so sometimes the fatigue can show - on 18 March only the King was disappointing, and the Aïda and Amonasro were quite impressive.

The orchestra was chamber-sized, though of good quality, and the chorus sang well, though is not so involved in the drama as British operatic choruses need to be. Conductor Nicolae Dohotaru has been touring here for over a dozen years now - this was his fifth performance of Aïda in Dundee alone - and he draws an effective well-paced performance from everyone. One oddity this time around, however, was the way in which he brought the performance to a halt when the main arias finished - this was a cue for applause, but went against the sense of momentum supplied so carefully by Verdi..

The production was technically simple, designed for the inordinately long tour to a range of venues offering different standards of stage facilities. A basic platform, with steps at the front down to the main stage, was flanked by a fake proscenium of canvas flats, very effectively painted in Egyptian style - an excellent example of the traditional scene-painters art. On the platform were a cluster of appropriately decorated pillars that could move around to provide visual variety. The backcloth showed blue sky, and a single pyramid, its base shrouded in mist. For a good staging of Aïda no more is needed - the grandiosity of the work is frequently exaggerated, not least in this company's own publicity.

In the spring tour this opera was only seen in the main east coast cities. Glasgow's opportunity to see Aida took place on 7 November 2013 in the wide open spaces of the Clyde Auditorium.

The cast is as advertised in the tour programme, with amendments from the performance cast sheet.

Performance Cast

Ramfis High Priest

Valeriu Cojocaru

Iurie Maimescu (Mar 18)

Radamès Captain of the Guard

Sorin Lupu (Mar 18)

Igor Macarenco

Amneris daughter of the King of Egypt

Nadezhda Stoianova

Zarui Vardanean (Mar 18)

Aïda an Ethiopian slave

Elena Dee

Ecaterina Danu

Olga Perrier (Mar 18)

King of Egypt

Eugeniu Ganea

Messenger

Ivan Dogot

Priestess

Tatiana Jechiu

Amonasro King of Ethiopia and father of Aïda

Vladimir Dragos

Iuri Gisca (Mar 18)

Petru Racovita

Performance DatesAida 2014

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

24 Feb, 19.30 25 Feb, 19.30

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Mar, 19.30

Caird Hall | Dundee

18 Mar, 19.30

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