Monday, July 18, 2011

Bravissima Aida!

Dave Morris, in his infinite wisdom, bought us Aida tickets many, many months ago.  Which is why we packed the adults up into two cars and headed into Verona, sans children, one evening.

We did not recognize any of the famous Italians in the photo :(
We started off with a nice dinner at Trattoria al Pompiere, a Chowhound recommendation that managed to fit the 10 of us into it's smallish space with only a day's notice.  We had yet another excellent Italian meal, with yet another fabulous salumi platter, and the local specialty, risotto alla amarone (the local robust red wine).
Prosciutto, Lardo, Mortadella, Sopressatta...
Then we strolled over to the 2,000 year old Roman amphitheater known as the Arena, armed with little padded cushioned seats, English libretto and a fan.  The capacity was 25,000 for the audience, but we were a lot less than that - probably only about 75-80% full.  There was a lot of choice - La Traviata had been playing the prior evening, Barber of Seville was the next night.

Seeing Aida there was simply magnificent, under the almost full moon.  The cast of hundreds displayed phenomenal pomp and circumstance in the triumphal march in Act II, with dancing girls, solders and 4 very well-behaved live horses on stage.  Radames was suitably noble, Aida suitably wistful and Amneris suitably dramatic and scorned.

Since the opera started at 9:15 pm, it ran quite late.  I fortified myself with a cornetto ice cream for the roving vendors who appeared magically during the breaks between acts.

A night to remember!

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