At La Scala, an Egypt That Looks a Lot Like Hollywood

By ALAN RIDING [NY Times, 9 December 2006]
MILAN, Dec. 8 ó Even for those who embrace opera as a celebration of excess, it seemed almost a provocation to open the Teatro alla Scalaís season on Thursday with an extravagantly lavish new production of ìAidaî created by Franco Zeffirelli. Indeed, after the buildup that preceded the show, how else could the audience respond but by cheering the singers, the orchestra, the director, La Scala ó and themselves for being there?