Opera Scotland

Aïda 2022Opera Festival Scotland

Read more about the opera Aïda

Verdi's Aïda has been staged a few times in the Caird Hall by the Ellen Kent organization since the turn of the century.

Before that, the local amateur company, Tayside Opera, mounted it occasionally when it was at its peak. That is now several decades ago, so it was good to see a collaborative effort between several groups putting on this thoroughly enjoyable concert performance as part of the new Opera Festival.  This also featured appearances by both Scottish Opera's Highlights tour and Opera Bohemia.

The soloists included in the title role soprano Susan McNaught. She is familiar from many appearances with companies in Edinburgh, but less well-known in Dundee. Any suspicion that her voice might prove too light for the huge space of the Caird Hall proved unfounded.  McNaught has a beautifully sweet tone and coped with ease with the difficulties of the climax to 'O patria mia' in the third act.

Simone Ibbett Brown was consistently excellent as Amneris, rising beautifully to the challenge of the fourth act trial scene. Stephen Brown, a late replacement as Radames, didn't always project ideally early on, but soon settled down. Ross Cumming was excellent in the tricky part of Amonasro, producing beautiful sounds in the Nile act.

Colin Brockie's silky bass voice projected well as Ramfis, with Zorbey Turkalp also effective as the King. The two short roles of Messenger and Priestess were both confidently delivered chorus members, Alex Hayes and Debora Ruiz-Kordoba. 

This production represented a collaboration with the National Youth Choir of Scotland Dundee, Tayside Opera, Stonehaven Chorus, and other talented members of the community. These included the orchestra which many names familiar from local groups. They responded well to Ralph Jamieson's conducting, rising beautifully to the important climaxes, while also dealing with the beautifullu subtle sections this lovely score contains.

One more thing to commend is the design of the surtitles - two screens at stage level with the 'typeface' much larger and clearer than most such devices, which can sometimes be quite awkward to read.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable enterprise that showed how well a mix of amateur and young professional musicians can combine for a special occasion such as this. It is certainly something that future festivals can build on.


Friday evening's concert performance of Aida at the Caird Hall.
Described in @thecourier.uk today as the "jewel in the festival's crown"
Mammoth effort from all cast and production to make this a successful event  

Performance Cast

Ramfis High Priest

Colin Brockie

Radamès Captain of the Guard

Stephen Brown

Amneris daughter of the King of Egypt

Simone Ibbett Brown

Aïda an Ethiopian slave

Susan McNaught

King of Egypt

Zorbey Turkalp


Alex Hayes


Debora Ruiz-Kordova

Amonasro King of Ethiopia and father of Aïda

Ross Cumming

Performance DatesAïda 2022

Map List

Caird Hall | Dundee

23 Sep, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha