Larger than life

Aida – the mega GIUSEPPE RAFFA  AIDA Opera Spectacle at the Deutschlandhalle


The Sphinx smiles in blue on floating mist.

Leona Mitchell swings as Aida, a dramatic high soprano, in a bulbous gospel timber. In front of 5000 Berliners at times so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.The organizers had promised us the largest opera spectacle in the world and they kept their word. The Deutschlandhalle ruptured into action right away. A snorting nervous horse, three bored camels, a snake and two elephants, also gave a nice touch. One of the “jumbos” could not hold his excitement, making a “huge lake”.It was quite funny. Not least because some of the captured Ethiopians (well, Berlin’s extras) had to “implore” next to this unexpected “lake shore”.But there was also a great spectacle to view: clock-work precise dancers (Prague Festival Ballet), without missing a cue, with no interruptions.And last but not least, microphones though close yet not producing metallic sounds. Also because the Prague Orchestra conducted by Giuseppe Raffa is perfectly tuned on the singers, neither masked nor falling.And about the singing. Absolutely wonderful. Bruna Baglioni as Amneris (who sang instead of the ill Grace Bumbry); Dennis O’Neill as a radiant field commander Radames and Nicola Ghiuselev as High Priest Ramphis. And hovering above all of them, almost without effort, Leona Mitchell as Aida. Tomorrow she will be replaced by the diva, Wilhelmina Fernandez. APPLAUSE – Spectacular Stage, good orchestra and super singers. Here Nicola Ghiuselev as Ramphis (photo).Aida Madrid Giuseppe Raffa