Reviewers and audiences alike are going crazy for Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastryskas penetrating, luminous voice and deeply moving portrayal of the doomed Ethiopian princess, Aida.
Making her Metropolitan Opera debut in Verdis grandest of operas, the 37-year old native of Kiev has slowly and carefully built her career, earning international praise, specializing in the Verdi prima donnas Lady Macbeth, Abigaille and Amelia, as well as the leading roles of Tosca, Gioconda, Santuzza and Lisa (Pikovaya Dama).
Monastryska possesses the requisite steel in her voice to effectively declaim the dramatic moments of Aida and to soar over the Metropolitan Operas magnificent chorus. And although she possesses a sizable, dramatic voice, she employs her instrument with a lyricism and depth of sound that evokes the finest of the Italian bel canto tradition. The Aida of Monastryska is not to be missed!
The spectacle of ancient Egypt forms the backdrop for a tempestuous love triangle between Aida, Radamès, supreme commander of the Egyptian forces, and Amneris, daughter of the Egyptian King.
Appearing as Radamès, French superstar tenor Roberto Alagna brings his plentiful stage experience and ringing voice to the Met stage. Powerhouse, dramatic mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina, a popular Met artist for the past 15 years, portrays the treacherously jealous Amneris. George Gagnidze brings to life the role of Aidas father, Amonasro, and Stefan Kocán sings the terrifying role of the high priest Ramfis. Rounding out the cast, Myklós Sebestyén limns the role of the Egyptian King. Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the ensemble.
Contrary to popular belief, the opera Aida was not written for the opening of the Suez Canal. It was commissioned for the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo.
Although not present for the Christmas Eve 1871 Egyptian premiere, Verdi enjoyed the operas triumphs as critics and audiences universally acclaimed the works virtues.
When: 12:55 p.m. Saturday, opera chat begins at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Cost: $24 adults, $20 seniors and students