Which stunned years ago when premiered at HGO, and still does with this reprisal. Only the singers are different, well almost all.
And if we think Aida we hear the Triumphal March from it's Act 1.
Amazingly, this opera. mostly known for its monumental scope, actually relies only on 3 major singers, Amneris, Radames and Aida. The other 3 soloists (Ramfis, Amonasro and the King) are just the icing on the cake. Dancers, huge chorus and super numbers could be seen as the whipped cream atop the whole confection :-). If one wants to see it that way.
The Amneris of Dolora Zajick will be remembered well by the HGO audience! If one believes in reincarnation, then one must believe Amneris to have come back as Zajick! She does own that role!! And is still a powerhouse on stage with her unique voice that can sound so seductive, yet still manages to threaten from the deep reaches of her chest!
Below her performance as Amneris at the Met in 2009:
The huge Chorus as usual well prepared and coached by Chorus Master Richard Bado, of acclaimed fame!
Liudmila Monastyrska As Aida delivered all that her critics promised. A powerful voice, that got better as the opera progressed and ended in fine softly delivered last song!
Riccardo Massi - Radames here as Pollione from Norma, impressive in purple and gold, yup very impressive!! :-)
And he is equally impressive in turquoise (lol), a commanding present on stage with clarion sound, what more can one ask of a Radames. That he is a rather handsome man did him great service and the applause proved it, especially after Celeste Aida! We muts hope he will be asked back many times to sing us more Verdi!
Scott Hendricks, former HGO Studio member returns to the stage as Amonasro, the Ethiopian king, Despite the beggarly costume and half shaved (wig) head, Studio alumnus used his histrionic talent accompanied by stentorian singing to good avail. he still is as limber as we have seen him as Rigoletto.
Bass Robert Gleadow is the Egyptian King, I am always a bit surprised when I hear such deep and yet, mellow, voices issue from slender men! This deep sound ought to burst forth from a much bigger chest, right? Well, Gleadow, bass baritone, who has been here previously, did not disappoint and is am impressive King!
HGO Studio member Natalya Romaniw as priestess, sings beautifully from backstage or side stage.
And the Messenger is sung acceptably by Kevin Rayn.
Maestro Antonino Fogliani conducts with enthusiasm and - I perceive - real admiration for Verdi's monumental opera. And this was just the final dress rehearsal, when sometimes singers conserve their voices, which this cast seemingly had no need to do!
The big surprise this afternoon was TENOR ISSACHAH SAVAGE as Radames who will sing the role again November 1. I was quite beguiled by this more lyrical voice than Massi. A real buttery voice, IMO. So if you can go on November 1!
Dolara Zajic announced she has a cold, but would sing anyway.
AND SHE DID!
The consummate professional she truly gave her best.
From a cold I, and several others, could not 'hear or see' a sign!