Verdi: Aida

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

PERFORMER: Maria Dragoni, Kristian Johannsson, Barbara Dever, Mark RuckerRTE Philharmonic & Chamber Choirs, Irish Army No. 1 Band, National SO of Ireland/Rico Saccani
CATALOGUE NO: 8.660033-4 DDD
Though this Aida was recorded in Dublin in the autumn of 1994 with the involvement of local choruses and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, it appears not to have been based on any stage production of the opera in Dublin. Maria Dragoni as Aida reveals a not unattractive voice, somewhat imperfectly controlled, and a lively dramatic temperament. She is at her best in her Act I aria, ‘Ritorna vincitor’. Kristian Johannsson, his voice not the most mellifluous of tenors, is a singer probably best experienced in the theatre. Here he presents a vocally reliable but dramatically unsubtle Radames. The other principals are more successful, with the Americans Mark Rucker and Barbara Dever exciting and vibrant as Amonasro and Amneris respectively. Francesco Ellero D’Artegna is a sonorous Ramfis and Rico Saccani (a native of Arizona) secures a convincingly Italianate performance from a combination of ten Irish choruses, an excellent orchestra and, in the triumphal scene, the Irish Army No. 1 Band. Despite its two or three fine individual performances, this Aida is far from being one of the most desirable of the currently available recordings. Charles Osborne