I was intrigued to see this open air version of Aida. It is a weird production. There were no notes to indicate what was in the production person's mind as to why he or she designed it this way. The stage is on the water front and people are sloshing around in or on the water. What the point of the giant feet or the broken head of the Statue of Liberty was, I don't know. There was some stylized Egyptian headgear, but other than that the costumes had little to do with Egyptian theme of the opera. If you like to see traditional operas presented in a unique way, you may enjoy this one. If you prefer them in a traditional format, skip this one. There are no extras on this Blu-ray version.
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Possibly too grand an opera for Bregenz stageJan. 14 2014
George E. Carl
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Musically the opera seemed in line with most productions of Aida. I applaud the Bregenz performances because of their innovative style and use of the lake background. Acoustically the opera works well in this open air setting. The same is true of Giordano's Andrea Chenier, performed a couple of years later. I think that Andrea Chenier was a better production. My main problem is that opera is really a fantasy, and the sets in this Aida did not match the image of the glory of Ancient Egypt. All the pomp of Pharaoh's kingdom looked a little bit tired and shabby, and the Nile really looked polluted (probably was in those days). Nevertheless, I'm happy to have the opera, and am pleased that the producers took the time and spent considerable funds to bring it to the general public on Blu-ray. I look forward to acquiring more operas from this festival, especially The Magic Flute, performed in 2013.
Update November 2014: I have now acquired The Magic Flute, performed at Bregenz, and now available in Blu-Ray. Truly a marvelous performance, and a welcome addition to my collection of this, my favorite of Operas. I recommend this production without reservation, and it displays the versatility of the Bregenz venues.