Opera Scotland

Aïda 2023Dnipro Opera (Ukrainian National Opera)

Read more about the opera Aïda

The city of Dnipro has suffered several bombardments during the Russian invasion of Ukraine so while it may seem surprising that members of their opera company should be able to escape abroad for an extensive tour.  However they were very welcome and received the same enthusiastic reception that all Ukrainian artists have had recently.

The visit extends throughout the UK from Thursday, 9 February to Wednesday, 5 April.  The repertoire is familiar, with 24 performances of Madama Butterfly, 18 of Carmen and just 5 of Aïda.  Scotland sees two of the latter (Ayr and Perth) and four of Butterfly (Ayr, Hamilton, Dunfermline and Dundee) between Wednesday 14 and Monday 20 February.

The Perth Aïda was a thoroughly enjoyable performance which fitted neatly into the concert hall which has the useful feature of an orchestra pit, leaving the stage for singers to spread out in.  The sets were surprisingly impressive - a group of adjustable platforms with a number of backcloths that provided realistic period features and clever perspectives.

The compact chorus sang well in their large-scale scenes in the first half, while the soloists came into their own from the Nile scene onwards.  There were a few cuts to the music which shortened the evening, no doubt to reduce the dance requirements as well as to improve convenience for long distance travellers.  Production photos indicate that the whole scale of the evening could be 'beefed-up' at larger venues.

An irritating factor was the absence of any cast lists for this specific evening.  The programme gave ten photos of the leading soloists on the tour to make it possible to identify some of the soloists.  With only five performances of this opera during the tour it was hardly surprising that only Single performers were listed for Radames, Ramfis, Amonasro and Messenger.  Two were listed for the title role as well as  Amneris and three of those four ladies took turns as the Priestess in the temple scene, unusually onstage in full view.  The only real issue with identification came with the King, where two singers were listed, both chorus members, who did not feature in the photo page.

As with the previous visits by Ukrainian performers, usually under Ellen Kent's management, the singers generally displayed well-schooled voices, while acting abilities varied but were at least competent. A highlight of the evening came at the end of the curtain-calls.  Two stage-crew unfurled the Ukrainian flag behind the line-up of performers and the company launched into a rousing rendering of the Ukrainian anthem - an emotion-packed and loudly-cheered event for all in the building.  

A surprise is the fact that a second Ukrainian company, from the opera house at Kyiv, was also tourng the country at this time.  They were under the familiar management team of Ellen Kent and Senbla.  The Scottish dates in the central belt - Edinburgh (10 & 11 February) and Glasgow (16 & 17 April).  A disappointing lack of co-ordination appears from the fact that the operas on display are, again, Aïda and Madama Butterfly

Performance Cast

Ramfis High Priest

Maksym Ivashchuk (Feb 19)

Radamès Captain of the Guard

Oleksii Srebnytskyi (Feb 19)

Amneris daughter of the King of Egypt

Veronika Koval (Feb 19)

Tetiana Halkina

Aïda an Ethiopian slave

Olena Dolhina

Nadiia Yeremenko (Feb 19)

King of Egypt

Hlib Lystopad

Yurii Subot


Mykhailo Hazin (Feb 19)


Tetiana Halkina (Feb 19)

Olena Dolhina

Nadiia Yeremenko

Amonasro King of Ethiopia and father of Aïda

Andriy Lomakovych (Feb 19)

Performance DatesAïda 2023

Map List

Gaiety Theatre, Ayr | Ayr

14 Feb, 19.30

Perth Concert Hall | Perth

19 Feb, 19.30

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