I was eager to see this production because it is directed by Graham Vick, an opera director whose work I almost always admire. Overall, I liked a lot of his ideas (but then I was disposed to), however, there were also some problems.
The "lake stage" at Bregenz is a strange venue, and difficult to film properly, I think. The orchestra is actually playing its part in a building nearby, while the singers listen to the orchestral part piped in through speakers and sing into little headset microphones that they wear throughout the performance. Performance starts at dusk and soon it becomes dark enough for the spectacular and very large sets to shine. Because the stage is so huge, directors sometimes put a lot of funny extra stage business all around the margins--which might work in person but is distracting when the video director tries to capture it all. The video director here in this Aida makes the mistake of trying to encompass everything and not going in for enough closer shots (Aida is a human drama after all). I don't want extreme close ups, but a waist length shot once in a while is good. Overall, the camera movement is often incoherent and you can't even really tell where the principles are on the scene sometimes.
Another important note: the performance is VERY heavily cut. Apparently, festival goers at Bregenz have to get out of the performances by 11:30 (or some time) in order to catch the last city trains and buses, and they don't run very late...so they cut the score for longer operas to fit, and they don't have an intermission.
The production itself: Giant statue of liberty in ruins...Amneris leads around two men who crawl around on the ground as she holds their leashes, and they have black hoods on like the torture victims in the photographs from Abu Ghraib...There is lots of Abu Ghraib type imagery throughout. Amneris's room at the beginning of Act II is a sort of disco with all of her friends a bunch of rich girls manhandling guys who are prisoners in those black hoods again. The triumphal march is unconventional as well: a group of American (?) soldiers dance with some girls and then break their necks in unison at the end of the dance. One interesting idea is that Radames dies right after the judgement scene, and the final scene is played out on a sort of "boat of the dead" as he and Aida leave the earth; the boat is lifted high into the night sky as they sing their duet. There were some other similarly creative and nice touches to the production, but it was highly political and modern so be warned.
As far as the singing and acting, it was only okay. Tatiana Serjan and Iano Tamar as Aida and Amneris were really good actresses (when the camera got close enough for us to see), but vocally not really special. The Amonasro was not powerful enough in his voice and his legato was not good enough for this character's big moments. The Radames was kind of a nonentity--not much voice, and not interesting on stage.
Overall, I am glad I got this because I like Vick's ideas--but it should not be your only version. My other favorites are the Zefferelli production from Busetto with Aldrich/Piper/Aaron--a cast of young unknowns who act and sing very well in a spectacular production (with a smaller orchestra than usual in a very, very small theatre), and the Robert Wilson production from Belgium with Fantini and Berti--strange but moving and effective for me.