Aida, Opera by G. Verdi
There are few other venues better suited to host the grand historical opera Aida by Maestro Giuseppe Verdi than Arena di Verona. In the ambience of Roman structures, the ancient love story of the Egyptian army commander Radamès and the captured Ethiopian princess Aida unfolds with even more gravitas and appeal. Verdi created Aida for a momentous occasion, the opening of Egypt’s Khedivial Opera House. Even though the Siege of Paris forced the original premiere to be rescheduled, the opera had its debut performance at the Khedive’s stunning opera venue in Cairo on 24 December 1871. The reception was appropriately uproarious, and Aida quickly became a staple of the opera repertoire ever since then. This season at Arena di Verona, along with Verdi’s masterwork, you can enjoy a special sightseeing tour on a train through the City of Love. This way you get to prolong your deep dive into ancient imperial time. It is a double package not to be missed!
The storyline of Aida is the work of librettist Antonio Ghislanzoni, who drew inspiration from the historic narratives of his colleague Temistocle Solera. The opera’s plot is set in the times of the Old Kingdom and deals with matters of politics and love. Radamès, a decorated Egyptian military commander, has captured Aida, Princess of Ethiopia. She, in turn, has captured his heart, and he must choose where his ultimate loyalties lie. Meanwhile, another princess, the King of Egypt’s daughter Amneris, is pining for Radamès, but he cannot return her feelings. An explosive love triangle has been forged, and the lovers’ true feelings will take them on a dangerous path that only pure hearts could endure.
With a plot so epic, it is only fitting that Verdi crafted some of his most monumental compositions for Aida. The lead characters’ arias are, without exception, a masterclass in musical characterisation and a vivid example of how melody can tell a story and reveal emotion. The choruses, another signature element in the maestro’s toolbox, are as iconic and memorable as the solo numbers. When you book your tickets to Aida at the majestic Arena di Verona this season, you get even more history and art for your money. Included in the price is a tour on a train across the old town, with dozens of remarkable sights.
Next to the Arena on Piazza Brà, the ‘trenino’ takes off and meanders between the medieval Castelvecchio, the stunning Roman gates and arches, and the thousand-year-old Duomo di Verona. Crossing the Adige river, you will get a good look at the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Lourdes and the Castel San Pietro. You can board the sightseeing ‘trenino’ on the same day that you see Aida at Arena di Verona, or you can choose to go a day earlier or later. It takes off every half an hour, and the roundtrip lasts around 25 minutes for your viewing pleasure.