Aida, Opera by G. Verdi
Thanks to his international fame, in 1869 Giuseppe Verdi received a commission for an epic opera to celebrate the opening of the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. The composer delivered a masterpiece, but the Franco-Prussian War postponed the premiere by two whole years, to 24 December 1871. This season, Aida comes to the Gran Teatro la Fenice and will amaze audiences, without delay!
When Isma'il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, asked Verdi for a special opera to inaugurate his new opera house in Cairo, the Maestro knew it had to be a grand project. He enlisted librettist Antonio Ghislazoni and worked closely with him in order to achieve Aida's characteristic unity of music and plot.
Due to the Siege of Paris, the opera's costumes and set designs remained trapped in Paris, so the opera house opened with Verdi's Rigoletto instead. Aida finally saw its premiere in Cairo on 24 December 1871 and rightfully claimed its central place in the operatic pantheon ever since.
Aida is set in an undefined period from Egypt's Old Kingdom and presents a love triangle between Aida, a kidnapped Ethiopian princess, the military commander Radamès who is torn between his love for her and his duty to serve the King of Egypt, and Amneris, the King's daughter who is hopelessly in love with Radamès.
In Aida, Verdi's lasting wish for the music to take centre-stage and move the plot forward finally comes to fruition. The Maestro's characterisation and compositional storytelling in this opera constitute an informal masterclass. From the 'Triumphal March' with its celebratory and atmosphere-building nature to Radamès' highly technical yet emotional opening aria 'Celeste Aida', to the famous conflict between him and Amneris, every piece fits in the plot's musical puzzle.
Of course, no role outshines Aida's titular character. It remains one of opera's most highly sought soprano part that allows a singer to display her full potential through several finely nuanced and varied arias and duets. Verdi's intricate melodies and sweeping orchestration make Aida a joy for the senses. It will wield its magic once more on the stage of the Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice!