Aida, Opera by G. Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi created his famous epic opera Aida under the commission of Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, in order to inaugurate Cairo’s new opera house. Despite a small delay, the composer’s plan worked splendidly: the work enjoyed high critical and audience acclaim, and it made its way into the operatic catalogue instantly. For Aida’s performance in Rome, the Baths of Caracalla provide as majestic and impressive a background as the legendary on-stage action would require. This is an opera showing not to be missed!
Apart from being one of the composer’s crowning achievements musically, Aida was also important for Verdi’s emerging philosophy of putting the music at the centre of the action and allowing it to carry the plot forward. One of the reasons that the premiere at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871 was such a success was that Verdi had achieved such a perfect amalgamation between libretto and score that the audience experienced complete immersion into the Ancient Egyptian storyline. The same magical evening awaits you at Terme di Caracalla as well!
The plot of Aida, with a libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, is centred on a love triangle with very high stakes. The army commander Radamès brings the captured Ethiopian princess Aida back to Cairo as a prisoner of war. He slowly finds himself drawn to her and she reciprocates his feelings, while Amneris, the daughter of the King of Egypt, grows ever more jealous and scorned. Will the duty to the country or the heart’s desires prevail?
To match the emotional charge of the storyline set in ancient times, Verdi created a score that was both technical and emotion-laden. The title role of Aida is one of the most popular ones in the soprano repertoire; similarly, Radamès is a dream casting for any tenor, despite how technically challenging his arias are. Amneris, in turn, is a haunting and beautiful mezzo soprano part that lets the beauty of that vocal register shine. This season at the Baths of Caracalla, do not hesitate to take the wonderful musical journey that is Aida!