Verdi: Aida (2-DVD) – Roberto Alagna, Violeta Urmana

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Verdi: Aida (2-DVD) – Roberto Alagna, Violeta Urmana

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Violeta Urmana, Roberto Alagna, Ildiko Komlosi, Giorgio Giuseppini, Carlo Guelfi, Marco Spotti, Corps de Ballet of the Teatro alla Scala, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala
Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Format: NTSC
Language: Italian
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 2
Studio: Decca
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
Run Time: 158 minutes

This DVD features the spectacular 2006 production at La Scala in Milan by veteran director/designer Franco Zeffirelli – with all the luxury, theatricality and opulence one could wish for in this grandest of operas, keeping in tradition and shying away from minimalist modern intrepretations. French tenor Roberto Alagna was filmed in early performances before his high-profile departure from the production. This alone makes it a must-have DVD for all opera fans!

Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana takes on the title role, and the powerful Hungarian mezzo Ildiko Komlosi stars as her rival, Princess Amneris. Riccardo Chailly conducts the stellar cast and orchestra at La Scala.

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This grandest of grand operas, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story set in ancient Egypt packed with magnificent choruses, dramatic arias, complex ensembles and elaborate ballets. The opera is, at its core, a profound exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty.

The score of this 4-act opera is a sophisticated example of Italian Romanticism as heard in the “Celeste Aida” right at the beginning of Act I, her impassioned “Ritorna vincitor!” that follows and her great internal journey, “Qui Radamès verrà! O patria mia” in Act III. At the center of Act II, is the great Triumphal Scene, which ranks among opera’s most celebrated moments.

Notable performances include a 1955 production conducted by Tullio Serafin with Maria Callas as Aida and Richard Tucker as Radamès, as well as a 1959 performance conducted by Herbert van Karajan with Renata Tebaldi as Aida and Carlo Bergonzi as Radamès.

Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world.

At the Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been performed more than 1,500 times since 1886 and was presented again in the Met’s 2018–19 season.

Aida was commissioned by and first performed at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House on December 24, 1871.



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