Cher Public

See the pyramids along the Nile

“Je veux des éléphants! Je veux de l’or! Impressionnez-moi!” So says Anna Netrebko on the subject of staging Aïda. [Forum Opéra]


    What is it with this woman and her love of kitsch? She can barely dress herself her taste is so severely compromised.

    • La Cieca

      She’s not exactly alone in thinking that AIDA plays well as a spectacle.

      • ines

        Why does the Met need to put on a new production for her, if she would be pleased with the current one ?
        And she can do the Zeffirelli production at laScala

        • Bill

          Ines -- well Netrebko is singing Aida in
          Salzburg this August in a new production
          conducted by Muti -- obviously a new
          production as I do not recall Salzburg
          previously performing Aida at the summer festival, but I may be wrong and if so it was during the late Karajan era.
          And it is unlikely it will not be a somewhat
          traditional production with Muti conducting and probably not in favor of a production which will distract the audience from the music. The current production at the Met
          is handsome enough though very conventional and gave both the
          Aida (Stoyanova) and the Amneris (Urmana) a chance to act appropriately. After all these years the appreciable audience applauded a couple of the sets and audience appreciation also has its importance in an opera’s success and ability to sell future performances. I suppose that sometime somewhere in the future there will be an Aida with both Netrebko and Garanca who plans to introduce her Amneris in a not yet by her to be mentioned Central European Opera House.

          • ines

            I absolutely agree with you… I think Netrebko could do very fine in the current Met Aida.
            Yes, I think the Salzburg Aida with Freni / Karajan in ’79 was a new production.
            But since Zeffirelli’s Scala prem about 10 years ago we have not seen an Aida with gold and glitter

          • Someone named Shirin Neshat has been announced as the Regisseur for the new “Aida” at Salzburg this summer. No bio available at the festival’s Web site

            • Porgy Amor

              She is a visual artist; it will be her first opera.

              In 2017, I will direct Aida at the Salzburg Festival. I’m interested in experimentation. As an artist, I am inclined to do new things. Repetition bores me. When Riccardo Muti contacted me for Aida, the proposal frightened me, but at the same time it stimulated me: It is something completely new for me and it is a risk.


            • She’s one of Iran’s best-known contemporary artists.


            • She’s one of Iran’s best-known contemporary artists. Her work is a bit gloomy for me. No idea what she might make of Aida.


            • Satisfied

              Interesting that she was chosen by Muti. I would have expected a more traditional choice for this production. Irrespective of the director, this is a really hot ticket and not surprisingly the first production to sell out this year. I was lucky enough to score two tickets (requested three…sorry, mom!) and definitely excited to be back in Salzburg this summer! And not just for Aida, the rest of the festival looks really exciting!

            • Bill

              When a festival such as Salzburg presents a new production, such as the Aida upcoming this summer, it is not as necessary to havea type of production which will suit many different casts -- in the old days at Salzburg some productions were repeated for several seasons ongoing (Cosi or Figaro even longer) and some productions moved on the the Vienna State Opera after their Salzburg usage was finished. Salzburg has the money apparently to mount a production for some 6 performances in one Festival and then scrap it.

              At repertory opera houses -- the Met, Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Budapest and such, a new production of a popular opera such as Aida might be carried over for more than 20 years with all sorts of cast variables.
              It should be appealing and durable for scores of performances -- and it must be suitable for various singers of different acting ability and physical attributes. The current Traviata at the Met (from Salzburg) would be difficult to be brought forward with a Caballe, a Sutherland, a Gruberova or a Tebaldi.

              Therefore, if the new Salzburg Aida, if a bit modern or unconventional, but suitable
              for Netrebko and the current cast will, in all likelihood not be repeated more than once with other singers (or Netrebko again) in the next decade. Opera intendants in houses such as the Met or Vienna must consider the durability of any production of a popular opera before presenting something

              Salzburg this summer has an unusual
              roster of operas to be presented in 2017 -- only one Mozart and no Don Giovanni, Figaro,Cosi, Entfuehrung, or Zauberfloete -- looking back in its history, there were very few years when at least 2 or 3 Mozart operas were not on the schedule. Traditions do not live on forever -- maybe it is time Bayreuth did a production of Rienzi for once.

              And speaking of Netrebko, I wish she had done Medea --

            • Satisfied

              Yes, I am aware that Salzburg rarely revives production and only if they’re coproductions do they get a second life. But that doesn’t mean Salzburg doesn’t do epic productions. Die Liebe der Danae last season is a case in point as is Herheim’s remarkable Meistersinger.

              With that said, I am skeptical that Anna is going to get the production she’s looking for in Salzburg. But as I wrote to NPW…I’m most looking forward to the Muti/Netrebko pairing.

            • I doubt very much it will resemble the Met’s production. I tried to draw out an artist friend in Tehran on this but only got back “Je sais pas si ça va être bien” (I dunno if it will be good). Well no, neither do I.

            • Satisfied

              I’m confident that musically at least, it’ll be exceptional. I would wager that Anna agreed to this rather high profile role debut because of Muti. I’m certain he had much to do with her Leonora success.

              I’m all for an interesting and revealing new production, but for this performance at least, I am all in for the music!

            • Neshat is an interesting/surprising choice. I’ve seen one of her installations but didn’t know she had interest in opera. It’s quite a high-profile debut assignment!! I wonder if she has done theatre in the past.

        • Porgy Amor

          And she can do the Zeffirelli production at laScala

          La Scala sold that off to a theater in Kazakhstan. Zeffirelli did some saber-rattling about suing La Scala when the news broke in 2014 (“We’re talking about, in reality, with all due humility, the greatest production of this masterpiece that I’ve ever brought to the public. They really should have consulted me. After all this time with La Scala, they should have shown more respect. I am seeing my lawyers”). As far as I know, nothing came of it.

          Scala’s current production is a minimalist, faintly sci-fi, but essentially traditional one by Peter Stein. It has been released on DVD/Blu-Ray with K. Lewis, Rachvelishvili, and Sartori. Our Patrick Mack reviewed that on release.

    • Olivero Fan

      I’m sorry that Anna’s sense of fashion has offended your sense of sensibility. The girl just wants to have fun!

    • Luvtennis

      Patrick!!! Lol! I think Anna would probably like a more traditional production for her first runs of Aida. Nothing wrong with that, especially given that this will probably be her most fraught debut….


        I’m sure it will probably be just as impressive as her Norma.

        • Luvtennis

          Lol!!! Now, now.

          • PATRICK MACK

            I’m still bitter. Can you tell?

    • MissShelved

      I could never wear what she wears, but I admire her for wearing what she pleases and pulling it off with flair. We should all be so happy in our own skins!

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Looking forward to Netrebko’s version of Tadammm!

  • La Cieca

      I don’t know how you did that but it is incredible.

    • Dan Patterson

      Amazing. I’m not sure the Divine Leonie would approve, but amazing, nevertheless. Brava!