The singing was wonderful, but the staging ranged from distracting to hilarious.
You like slaves? This production has them in abundance, cluttering up the action, groaning and moaning as they pull and push stones and monuments like a pack of crack-smoking ants. They were especially annoying in the triumphal scene, where the chorus could barely squeeze on stage, cowering in the background while the over-acting wretches took center stage. (Hey slaves! Triumphal celebration going on! Take five!)
It was also kind of weird in Act I, Scene II, where the rocks just popped up out of the ground, noisly banged about, and occasionally formed,one assumes, significant shapes.
Act II, Scene I was bizarre. First, there were topless women "bathing." Let me tell ya, topless women are always a distraction, except in a topless bar, and even there they distract. What was the point of them here? Second, while most ballets in this scene feature the usual gaggle of Egyptian girls "walking like an Egyptian," they changed it up a bit by having young boys--very young boys!--hopping about in thongs, while being whipped by some old dudes. (Speaking of pointless, don't miss the entrance of Radames in the Act II, Scene II, with the scantily clad young hunk standing over him, ready for action.)
Finally, Herr Pavarotti was big enough; hanging curtains on him only added to the effect. (One could almost hear the slaves lamenting, "We can pull the sphinx across the stage, but not that tenor!")
It is also noted that the once discriminating La Scala audience fell for this MTV approach like wrestling fans marking out to a Hulk Hogan pose down.
All in all, an absurd and sterile desecration of Verdi's opera.