★★★★★ Aida Review Bachtrack
In Dublin, an Aida that successfully strips away the Egyptian iconography
What is left of Verdi’s Aida if you remove the pyramids, statues, temples and thrones? A modern take on this distinctively historical opera can look like an oxymoron and put off more conservatively-minded operagoers from attending the show. But don’t make that mistake.
In presenting the last – and the most ambitious – of Irish National Opera’s productions for their first year, director Michael Barker-Caven cleverly strips the opera bare of its monumental fringes and aims at showing the “ghost in the shell” of Aida. While the intrinsically symbolic value of art should not generally require the director to simplistically decode a work for the audience, it is true that many repertoire operas have become so crystallised in their scenic packaging that the audience risks losing sight of their essence.