For its third production the National Lyric Opera Company presented "Aida" last night at Lisner Auditorium. The choice of that particular work, in many respects the grandest of all grand operas, so early in the company's development represented a certan lack of artistic judgment which the performance itself confirmed.
Quite simply put, the company was not ready to take on "Aida." High aspirations and good intentions are no virtues unless they are coupled with the practical ability to match current capabilities with suitable material. With "Aida" the National Lyric Opera seemed to be trying to bluff its way into instant success.
Throwing in such popular tricks as a cute children's ballet and a live camel could not compensate for the production's overall weakness. Virtually no singer was without serious technical weaknesses which ranged from pitch problems to lack of breath control and tone control. The orchestra offered almost no support, having its hands full merely staying together. The scenery and the costumes were for the most part quite effective.
A company that offers a production with such a discrepancy between aims and abilities as this "Aida" wins little for itself other than the label of pretentiousness. The performance will be repeated tomorrow night at 7:30.