Toronto's Canadian Opera Company raised the curtain on their new season this weekend with an opening (afternoon -- wtf?) performance of Verdi's Aida. In a new production by Tim Albery (who was booed during his curtain call), Aida is no longer an exposition of Egyptian pageantry -- instead it's filled with gritty, stark scenes from a generic war-torn country.
Excellent singing and acting aside (save the director, everyone was lauded for their individual performances), American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (as the lead) should receive all sorts of accolades just for being able to channel her inner diva while wearing the world's ugliest pair of kicks. It's like the shoes you'd find on a1940s Dust Bowl WPA worker.
(Above: Radvanovsky detail)
(Above: Sondra Radvanovsky and Jill Grove as Amneris)
(All photos: AP/Canadian Opera Company/Michael Cooper)