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`Aida' a really big road show.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Giuseppi Verdi's "Aida" is such a big, spectacular opera that small or medium-size U.S. companies rarely dare tackle it.

So taking a fully staged production on the road - with more than 100 people including singers, musicians, dancers and technicians - is no small feat.

But that's exactly what Opera Verdi Europa is doing, on a 96-city, four-month tour of the United States. The tour comes to Eugene for a performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Hult Center's Silva Concert Hall.

Ivan Kurykchiev, the Bulgarian company's founder and artistic director, says Opera Verdi Europa has staged many big Verdi operas, including "Nabucco," "Don Carlo," "Otello" and "Macbeth." But "Aida" is the biggest of them all.

The production to be seen in Eugene will feature Romanian soprano Silvia-Sorina Muntyanu as Aida, the captive Ethiopian princess who tragically falls in love with Radames (tenor Kamen Chanev), an Egyptian army captain who also has won the heart of Amneris (mezzo-soprano Liliana Lavrica), a jealous Egyptian princess.

The cast also includes baritone Biser Georgiev as Amonasro, bass Ivaylo Dzhurov as Ramphis and bass Zhivko Peychev as the King of Egypt.

The conductor is Nayden Todorov, an award-winning Bulgarian conductor who is music director of the Vidin Philharmonic and director of the Tracia International Summer Festival.

This will be Opera Verdi Europa's first performance in Eugene. "Aida" will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Ticket prices range from $20 to $42; students get $10 discounts. Call the Hult Center ticket office, 682-5000.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:253
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