It’s always bittersweet when a beloved production sees its final performance on the Met stage. Recently, the company bid farewell to Sonja Frisell’s iconic Aida that has been a beloved staple of many Met seasons since it first graced the stage in 1988.
Mezzo-soprano Annette Spann-Lewis, a long-time member of the Met Chorus, has been present for all 247 performances of Frisell’s Aida, and was asked by the Met to give a chorister’s perspective on the evening of the production’s closing night. Here are Annette’s takeaways, in her own words:
I’m Annette Spann Lewis, a well-seasoned artist with the Met Opera Chorus for over 25 years! So, I have witnessed many great performances of Aida.
I am truly privileged and blessed to perform with the world’s greatest and best, and, I must say, that the chorus always has the best seat in the house!
Some of my Aida highlights?
The riveting farewell performance of Leontyne Price in the John Dexter production, which erupted into a 25 minute standing ovation.
The great Placido Domingo as Radames, now conducting tonight’s farewell Aida. Truly an amazing feat!
The legendary performances of Luciano Pavorotti, Fiorenza Cossotto, Leona Mitchell, Aprile Millo, Dolora Zajick; more recently, Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili and tonight’s stellar diva, Sondra Radvanovsky, to name a few!
Ladies and gentlemen, the Triumphal Scene in this production alone is the ‘zenith’ of Verdi’s grand opera.
Yes, Sonja Frisell’s Production of Aida has had an amazing run for many years, but the opera Aida can be equated with “The Phoenix” - and it will rise again!
Above, you can view Annette’s video, which was posted on the Met Opera’s Instagram story on March 7th, which was the closing night of Aida!
Though we will miss Sonja’s Aida, the entire company is looking forward to seeing what director Michael Mayer’s creative team will dream up for Verdi’s towering triumph. Our new Aida is set to open the ‘20-’21 season, and we hope to see all of you there!