Phelim McDermott’s new production for ENO features some virtuoso turns and preserves the tragedy’s air of mystery, but at times lacks cohesion
English National Opera’s new production of Aida is the work of Phelim McDermott, whose previous stagings for the company include Philip Glass’s operas Satyagraha and Akhnaten, the latter, like Aida, set in ancient Egypt. McDermott’s intention is to preserve the essential air of mystery or otherness that surrounds Verdi’s tragedy while examining its seriousness of purpose and darker implications: the nature of theocracy; the relationship between desire and obsession; and the inevitability of betrayal when war forces its casualties to choose between lovers and family. He does so, however, in ways that don’t always ideally cohere.
Source: Opera News from the UK Guardian