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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Reviews Are In!

Reviewers are blown away by Aida! Here are the reports from opening night:

Mlada Khudoley and Arnold Rawls
“This Aida ranks as one of the most musically impressive Vancouver productions of Verdi in recent memory.”

“Mlada Khudoley’s ... big technique, bigger voice, and all-or-nothing delivery define the passions of her larger-than-life character. Her range of colours, deft shifts in dynamics, and identification with her role make for considerable complexity and depth.”

“Rawls is very much a tenor in the Italian mode, swaggering and strutting his way through his role in approved Verdi style.”

“Robinson has one of those velvet bass voices that commands instant attention.”
“The powerful ensemble conclusion to the Second Act shook the rafters of the Queen Elizabeth.”

Morris Robinson and Arnold Rawls
“As Ramfis, the high priest, Robinson’s bass is so deep and assured it’s as if a vibration goes through the audience every time he opens his mouth.”

“The women, Mlada Khudoley and Daveda Karanas, are gloriously gifted as Aida, the Ethiopian prisoner (and secret princess), and Amneris, the Egyptian princess, respectively.”

“Khudoley conveys Aida’s unending turmoil with great beauty. Her voice is remarkable, and it’s put to the test in Act III when Aida’s forced to betray her beloved Radames, lest her father disown her.”

“[Quinn Kelsey is] particularly effective as he shames Aida for turning her back on her country, his words invoking the spirit of her dead mother made all the more resonant by his booming baritone.”

“It’s nothing short of electrifying, particularly at the end of Act II as Egypt celebrates its victory over Ethiopia. The story arcs converge in a messy apex as the sprawling company crescendos to a roar, creating a palpable buzz throughout intermission.”

Daveda Karanas
“Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas’s Amneris is a standout among standouts... a clear, polished mezzo that enunciates meaning in every word.”
“Arnold Rawls (Radames) effortlessly hits the high note of Celeste Aida and really reaches his stride in his duet about fleeing with Aida, probably swinging the bells at the Holy Rosary Cathedral with his ringing tenor.”

“Bass Morris Robinson (Ramfis) sets the volume on 11 with his resounding bass”

"It’s always nice to have more eye candy, and Aida carries with it expectations of dazzle. But sometimes you don’t see how expensive a production is; you hear it.”

Great seats are still available for the Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 performances!

All photos by Tim Matheson

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