Our production, Friday June 29th
Not at the Courthouse. See email for
La Scala 1985. Cond - Lorin Maazel.
Aida - Maria Chiara, Radames - Luciano
Pavarotti, Amneris - Ghena Dinitrova.
It’s another romantic triangle but also a political one
war hero Radamès devoted to his native Egypt as well
as to Aida, whose allegiance -and he honours it - is to
her beloved Ethiopia. The third corner is the Egyptian
The archetypical heroine and hero are unchanging –
with wonderful music expressing
their fidelity. This leaves dramatic
character development to
Amneris, regarded as Verdi’s
finest part for a mezzo (but
remember Alcuzena). Here’s
Amneris’ fiery Act 1V duet with
Radames - Jon Vickers and
Giulietta Simionato: 1964 (below).
No subtitles necessary!
A bit of history
How to open an opera house! Aida was
commissioned to open the oldest opera
house in Africa, the Royal Opera House in
Cairo, built to celebrate the Suez Canal.
Actually Rigoletto was the first performance
– Aida, delayed by the Franco-Prussian war,
followed in 1871.
Glorious, melodic, dramatic – this is Verdi
returning to music portraying character.
“Aida would have been impossible had it not
been for Verdi’s experience of writing Don
Carlos for the Paris Opéra. Aida is
essentially a French grand opera in the
Meyerbeer tradition, but sung in Italian.”
Read why here.
Silence for the prelude! Here’s Valeriy
Gherghiev conducting it at the Mariinsky
Take time to read about “Celeste Aida”,
the tenor’s opening aria – with five
famous renditions here (scroll down a bit).
The link to Kaufmann is missing – try this
one for incredible gentleness.