Review: Verdi’s Masterpiece: AIDA

Categories: Day Tripping, Diva-Colored Glasses, Do As The Locals Do, Featured, Music Diva, Night Life Diva
Contributing Diva: Angela Rocco DeCarlo

Verdi’s masterpiece – one of them anyway – AIDA, has it’s final Orange County, CA, performance Tuesday, 8 p.m., Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, CA. It is not to be missed.

       Aida, the 1871 spectacle usually performed with “a cast of thousands,” including animals, which debuted at the Cairo Opera House, is distilled to its essential elements, which are quite enough to enthrall an audience.  Local critics were lavish in praise of the South African soprano, Kelebogile Besong, making her North American debut, in the role of Aida at Segerstrom Concert Hall.            

       This is one of the great operas everyone should see at least once.  It is awash with military and political intrigue, a love triangle and enough gorgeous Verdi music to thrill.

        Besong as Aida, slave to the Egyptian princess Amneris, played by local diva, Milena Kitic, is besotted with the Egyptian military hero, Radames, the man Amneris wants for herself. Aida, herself a princess, unknown to her captors, is distraught when the victorious General Radames brings back defeated enemies, which include Aida’s father, the king.

         The ingenious staging in an oversized downstage sandbox, with the fabulous 88 – piece Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair conducting, on stage behind the actors, works rather well. The chorus and dancers added polish to the production.

          

             Aida  

            Where: Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

            600 Town Center Drive

            Costa Mesa, CA

            When: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017,  8 p.m., Lecture 7 p.m.

            Tickets – $60- $215

             714-755-5799  pacificsymphony.org         

Angela Rocco DeCarlo, is a former Chicago journalist, covering entertainment, travel and culture. For 15 years she served as opera docent for Pacific Opera, Santa, Ana, CA.

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