2015-10-04 Aida (Verdi), Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich

Amneris = Anna Smirnova
Aida = Krassimira Stoyanova
Radamès = Jonas Kaufmann
Ramfis = Ain Anger
Amonasro = Franco Vassallo
Der König = Marco Spotti
Ein Bote = Dean Power
Eine Priesterin = Anna Rajah

Dan Ettinger, conductor
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Chor und Extrachor der Bayerischen Staatsoper

Inszenierung - Christof Nel Konzeptionelle Beratung - Martina Jochem
Bühne - Jens Kilian
Kostüme- Ilse Welter-Fuchs Choreographische Arbeit- Valentí Rocamora i Torà
Licht - Olaf Winter
Chöre- Sören Eckhoff
Dramaturgie - Olaf A. Schmitt  
Jonas Kaufmann as Radames should be great. The great aria was a let-down. It was like hearing a baritone trying to sing like a tenor. Falsetto-end, of course. He was much better in the duets and ensembles.

Krassimira Stoyanova was a wonderful Aida. She was magic in singing and acting. Anna Smirnova was also great as Amneris. Marco Spotti was a great king. Ain Anger sang Ramfis (he looked young but sounded older). Franco Vassallo was a powerful Amonasro.

The production was black and white. It would have been a beautiful production if not the decision to make this the most violent Egypt where the slaves was in danger all the time and Ramfis et co are death-cult. Blood, murder, rape. So typical "edgy" directorial stupidity!!


Since the Puccini album with the Dr House lookalike Jonas Kaufmann I call him Dr House.
Jonas Kaufmann is a great actor but... he is supposed to be a tenor, not just A tenor, but a Great one. His acting is real good and he is a nice person.

Anyway this is about the Aida in Munich and it goes beyond whether Jonas Kaufmann is a great Radames or not. In this production the world Verdi and his librettists created is ignored. With the magic of Verdi et co it is possible to believe that the love between Aida and Radames is real and romantic even as Aida is a slave and Radames is one of her captors. Here in this production Radames is just slightly better than the murdering, raping scumbags that are the soldiers and officers of the Egyptian army. He can save Aida from rape/murder with a slight hand and neck movement. Aida in Verdi's world was captured and became a slave/maid/pretend friend of Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt. In this production the slaves (females) are there so any scum of the army can use and abuse them and of course slaughter them. In this world where Aida is Ethiopian slave how is her better, easier. Just like it might seem better to be a house slave than a working in the fields slave, it is not better it is as dangerous but in another way.

Radames is just stupid. He doesn't grasp killing his girlfriends' people is bad. Understanding how her being a slave is affecting her is simply beyond him. He is just about his glory for Egypt. How nice to go to war to the people of his ladylove just for his own glory and take people as prisoners of war, aka new slaves, withouth having any conscience at all. Then his woman sees her father as prisoner and suddenly a bit of these Ethiopians are people too, except that is not that it is about a woman's tear and be a man for his woman.

Of course, JKs Radames is a good-looking guy. That's nice but really nice singing and then he has the crooning, falsetto thing instead of really singing pianissimo. But with Krassimira Stoyanova we at least have a real soprano and with Anna Smirnova as Amneris a just as great mezzo Stoyanova is soprano. Marco Spotti and Ain Anger sing the basses. Franco Vassallo was jus great as Amonasro.

But the production: a beautiful scenography with great costumes, then the regie and ballett stinks.
Brutality on stage, yep, there was a lot of onstage killings. Always making sure that the Egyptians are just murdering scums who also enjoy raping. Every ballett scene was a scene about killing, destroying. Was that really necessary, annoying director/regie maker?

Why can't we just have VERDI's Aida instead on REGIE-Aida?
This page was last updated: June 20, 2022