Anna Netrebko (Aida)
Roberto Tagliavini (Der König)
Ekaterina Semenchuk (Amneris)
Franceso Meli (Radamès)
Dmitry Belosselskiy (Ramfis)
Luca Salsi (Amonasro)
Bror Magnus Tødenes (Ein Bote)
Benedetta Torre (Oberpriesterin)
Dirigent: Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti was the only reason to listen to this much hailed Aida from Salzburg this year. By far the most satisfying, richest and especially the most knowledgeable result of an operatic performance I have heard in a long time. He obviously loves the music and also knows WHAT to do with it. Pity he did not have a better cast to work with.Netrebko looked nice in her costume, made nice gestures and some nice phrases with not much acting as always. Aida is new to her and thank god, Muti puts her on a leash – though he not always holds it as firm as he should. She may be a little less approximative in her singing and less annoying in her dragging the tempi as in other roles, out of respect for the demands the role has – but all in all she is still not as disciplined as the role asks for. Her biggest problem is going through the registers and holding the sound together and at the same time having enough breath for her terribly broad phrasing in full voice. You can virtually see, how she shifts and switches and searches for the right position of her voice , while she has to be careful not to „swallow“ it entirely, especially when she goes from the low register upwards. She just sounds terribly heavy and laboured and has precious little of the freshness and loveliness, the young girl, Aida, has in her music..
Francesco Meli is a small-fry Radames, the comments about this role debut range from „he´ll grow into it“ to „Nemorino at Theben“. The voice is not only much too lyric – but then other tenors have tried it, too – he neither has the vocal stamina and the robustness of an ample middle register (let alone a solid low range, just hot air), nor an easy and ringing top. Listen to Oehmann for a rather lyric Radames (I am not sure whether he sang the role on stage), how beautiful and nuanced „Celeste Aida“ can be sung. I have rarely heard especially the first verses „Celeste Aida forma divina / Mistico serro di luce e fior / Del mio pensiero tu sei regina / Tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.“ Sung better balanced, more poetic and more imaginatively sung. – Pity for end of the final note though… Meli was just dull, monotonous and most of all… frightened and cautious throughout the entire opera, never leavind Muti out of his eyes. „Put ti riveggo“ was simply ridiculous and the judgement scene, too. The final duet which allowed for more soft singing found both Netrebko and Meli more at their ease, though their voices do not blend at all.
Luca Salsi is a disgrace. Again, this is not singing. He sounds hoarse and crude with dubious intonation. More speaking than singing. To label him a NOBLE (sic!!) “belcanto” baritone as some do is simply ridiculous. Where are these people´s ears?! Semenchuk had the right type of voice for Amneris, but was a little crude though mostly „doing her job“. Dmitry Belosselskiy as Ramfis was just dreadful („Nume custode, vindice“!!). The messenger was good and so was Roberto Tagliavini as Re.