[NOTE: This entry has been edited as of 7:14 AM Eastern on 25 Jun to make a number of refinements to our wording for clarity's sake.]
Just finished seeing (as opposed to simply hearing) our very first production of Verdi's Aida courtesy of the Met's HD film of its current production which was telecast by WNET, PBS's New York City outlet, last night and which we DVRed for later viewing. Turns out this opera proved for us to be a veritable epitome and paragon of everything we find so off-putting, even contemptible, about Italian opera, generally speaking. And that is that it's intended first and foremost as a popular entertainment and so is accordingly concerned principally with theatrical spectacle of a grand or lesser sort and spectacular voices, all else being but pretext or support. And the part played by drama in this scheme? As superficial and slender as possible consistent with its providing an instantly comprehendible and coherent narrative to act as pretext for the theatrical spectacle and spectacular voices. It's a scheme the best of Italian composers and librettists had down pat and accomplished with utmost skill; a skill so great that it permits these popular entertainments to pass for great capital-A Art. As we've no intention of documenting and substantiating our above assessment as that would require a great deal of time and effort on our part, time and effort we refuse to spend, you are perfectly free to consider our above to be no more than a mere ill-tempered rant rather than the revelation we consider it to be and so dismiss it out of hand. Your choice of course, which choice is your concern entirely and none of ours.