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Italian Lakes: 15 Aida

August 7, 2011

1989.jpgThe day of the second visit to the Verona opera dawned with rain forecast. I found it difficult to believe that I could have booked two performances on the only two rainy days in the entire period! However we were lucky. While the odd spot was felt and black clouds scudded across the skies we were blessed with no interruptions.

The Verona stage is designed for grand spectacles, and there are few grander than Aida. In this performance they sensibly included all the ballet scene which are often omitted and to be honest they stole the show.

The intimacy of the final scene was not lost either and the production which dated back to the 20s proved remarkably resilient in a modern age. Great moments, great spectacle but not one of the greatest of operas. However it was fun other than the normal audience problems. In this case the person to my right thought we all appreciate him tunelessly humming or whistling the most popular arias, out of step as well as out of tune. His companion rocked back and fore throughout and would not be stilled. This time no sharp umbrella was to hand – alas!

We had probably the best meal of the holiday, at the Ristorante Greppia. Local food, local wine and a reasonable price – but book if you want to eat outside before the opera.

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