Perhaps avid fans of the actress will want this, as she is in her youthful
prime here and, despite some rather heavy “darkening” make-up, a gorgeous spectacle in herself.
Certain devotees of dated, even corny cinema may find some pleasure as well.

But for those who love the opera, this DVD should be avoided. Cut down to about 90 minutes,
the film employs a dull narrator linking the scenes with rudimentary plot points, spoken in
English over music. The first words? “As the opera begins….” That is damage enough. However,
if the film were otherwise in good condition, some enjoyment might still be found. The film is
not, however, in good condition. There are many slight skips and jumps in the editing. The
overture is butchered, starting with the “triumphal march” before cutting back to what Verdi
actually composed. The director even interposes a flashback at one point, showing the havoc the
Ethiopians (looking like extras from a bad Tarzan movie) had wreaked on the Egyptians. The
climax is butchered by both poor film quality and bad direction, and as a capper, recorded
applause ends the show. Incomprehensible. The sets and costumes do have an old-time appeal,
but the cinematography has lost its luster, with the colors often washed-out.

Besides Loren, the other actors try their best, although the lip-syncing is often inadequate. Only
the Radames (sung by Giuseppe Campora) is weak, a skinny pretty boy named Luciano Della

The DVD offers no booklet (at least the review copy didn’t). Neither are subtitles provided, and
there are only a few chapter selections. But never mind. Even with those features, this DVD
would not be a satisfactory Aida for any but those understandably besotted with the beauty of the
young Loren.

Chris Mullins

image_description=Giuseppe Verdi: Aida
product_title=Giuseppe Verdi: Aida
product_by=Sophia Loren – Aida; Renata Tebaldi – Aida (singing voice); Lois Maxwell – Amneris; Ebe Stignani – Amneris (singing voice); Luciano Della Marra – RadamËs; Giuseppe Campora – RadamËs (singing voice); Afro Poli – Amonasro; Gino Bech – Amonasro (singing voice); Antonio Cassinelli – Ramfis; Giulio Neri – Ramfis (singing voice). Directed by Clemente Fracassi. Screenplay by Clemente Fracassi. Rome Opera Ballet Corps. Italian State Radio Orchestra, Giuseppe Morelli (cond.).
product_id=Qualiton 616 [DVD]

Qualiton 616