On Sunday afternoon neighbour Glenys and I drove into Oamaru for our regular dose of clture = Metropolitan Opera on a big screen. This time it was AIDA composed by Verdi to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. I always knew it was the grandest of the grand operas. I knew the music and had seen photographs. One of our regular opera goers told us she had seen AIDA on the Sydney Domain and the triumphal march had real elephants
The music and singing were superb, Yes the Soprano and Mezzo soprano were big ladies, but sumptuous costuming disguised that and their voices were even bigger. The whole opera was rivetting but in particular Act 11, where Radames returns from conquering Ethiopia, preceded by soldiers, slaves, captives, horses. Phaero and his daughter sit on thrones in front of massive walls. I can see why people say AIDA should be performed outside it needs acres of stage.. The chorus was magnificent, the dancers wonderful and the trumpets lifted the hair on the back of my neck.
I kept wondering. is there any greater human achievement than this melding of music, dance and drama? Maybe music is what makes mankind divine.