[Natascha Petrinsky (Amneris) and Sylvie Valayre (Aida) – Photo Credit: Andreas Birkigt, Oper Leipzig. Full photo (HR) and gallery here]
So I went back to the Leipzig Aida last night (follow these links for production info, photos and a video (German only)). Once more, Natascha Petrinsky’s Amneris was the highlight of the evening, delivering a fantastic character portrayal within the lucid and intense Konwitschny production that cuts out the decor and the extras in favor of shining a light on the inner conflicts of the protagonists.
The directing makes so much sense that I was baffled when last night, after the 2nd Act Ballet (which here consists of a pantomime carried by the Pharaoh, Ramfis and Amneris), an elderly woman in the row before me yelled “Nonsense!” into the silence at the end. It seems that Aida and her elephants are still a Holy Cow when it comes to staging.
I was tempted to call back, “If this staging is too demanding for you, why don’t you travel to Verona instead?”, but, other than that lady, I’ve been raised not to raise my voice during performances (unless I am on the cast list).