Last year’s production in the Erkel Theatre filled the air with the opulence of Egypt complete with dripping gold, gilt and crackling emotions. Hungarian State Opera made the maximum use of composition and space in a limited area, although at times the stage seemed hopelessly crowded and full of frenzied dancing that detracted a little from the overall magnificence of the opera.

However, what “Aida” loses within the confines of the Erkel stage it makes up for in volumes by the intense and war-like

heavy orchestral score conducted by Tamás Pál, by the strong plotline of country loyalty versus love and by the skill of the leading performers. Directed by János Mohácsi, Ildikó Komlósi takes the role of Amneris, Stuart Neill is Radamès and Radostina Nyikolaeva is Aida.
It was greatly received nearly a year ago and booking early is essential because it is one of Verdi’s most beautiful and accessible operas. Who cannot love a drama set amongst the mysticism and magic of ancient Egypt with its treasures and pyramids?

Verdi himself was enchanted by the mystical land of the pharaohs and this is powerfully demonstrated in his exotic orchestral score, which is full of sweeping majestic royalty and grand flourishes. The notes are rich, rounded and golden like the gleaming colours of the set and the costumes themselves.

The clever blending of the ancient with little touches of modernity adds a certain quality to this production; look closely at the

hieroglyphics on the walls of the set and even these are imbued with a contemporary twist by gun-shaped stencils.
For me, “Aida” still remains Verdi’s finest masterpiece. It builds to a crescendo, gathering pace musically and dramatically. The ending is intense and beautiful and the once-crowded stage expands, as all but the main protagonists remain, burning in love and elevated into the immortal.

“Aida”

Saturday February 27
until Wednesday March 23

Erkel Theatre,
II János Pál Pápa tér 30, District VIII

Tickets and information:

www.jegymester.hu/eng

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