by Steven Pisano
Now wrapping up its 48th season, the Regina Opera company in Brooklyn performs in the auditorium of a school, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy of Brooklyn, in Sunset Park. It is not a gold-encrusted palace of theater and music like the Metropolitan Opera or the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The singers do not have exclusive recording contracts with major labels. The scenery is not bigger than the buildings in most small towns.
And yet...just off the busy 59th Street subway station of the N and R trains, the Regina Opera company is currently presenting a knockout production of Giuseppe Verdi's massive warhorse, Aida. There are no elephants, no legions of slaves, no massive life-size temples in the desert. But what there is is simple but effective staging, a lively orchestra, and above it all, uniformly glorious singing. It is a solid treat for the ears from beginning to end, and if you are an opera lover, or only a Verdi lover, it is well worth travelling to see it, as it only plays two weekends as part of the 2018 New York OperaFest.