Indeed he did. To a thundering silence. Then when Violeta Urmana finished "Ritorno Vincitor"...again, silence. She was actually leaving the stage when someone in that NY audience yelled "Brava!" (Urg, no -- bravo
.) Then they began to applaud, as if they'd been waiting for permission
. Strange audience.
I had one problem with Urmana. Big voice, with a lovely, lovely high-notes pianissimo
. But when she sang her top notes full voice, as often as not those notes came out as a screech. Her Lady Macbeth was booed at La Scala (now there's a shocker -- booing at La Scala) but not for screeching; for making mistakes. However, La Scala is supposedly grooming her for their first Norma in over 20 years.
Back to the Aida
simulcast, I read a review that criticized the stage direction as being too static, citing specifically the way the chorus just stood still in rows while singing. Well, they didn't just march in in rows; the rows were created by the addition of segments alternating with other choreographed moves by the principals and the supers. When you're building a mosaic picture on a stage using people instead of tiles, you can't have people bouncing around all over the place. I thought the staging was stately and right.
By the way, did you know the ancient Egyptians had Velcro?