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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)


Aida





Composed 1870-1871.
First performed December 24, 1871.
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni (in Itarian),
after du Locle.





A Summary of gAidah



Act 1
In ancient Egypt, in the capital city, Memphis, an Ethiopian princess, Aida, is held prisoner in Egypt, and she lies about her identity. Now, she is a slave of Amneris, the Egyptian Kingfs daughter. An Egyptian General, Radames, is secretly in love with Aida, and she with him. Then, the Egyptian King appoints Radames to supreme commander against Ethiopia. Aida is deeply conflicted about her love for her country and her love for Radames.

Act 2
Actually, Amneris, the Egyptian Kingfs daughter, also loves Radames. Radames wins a war, and returns to Egypt. The Egyptian King intends to reward Radames by bestowing Amneris on him, and for him to become the successor. Amneris is ecstatic, Radames is very confused, and Aida feels deep sorrow.

Act 3
Among the prisoners, Aida recognizes her father, Amonasro, the Ethiopian King. He compels Aida to betray Radames by eliciting from him his military secrets. Aida proposes to Radames that they escape from Egypt and live together. Radames agrees and then he reveals a secret escape route to her. Then, Amneris appears and arrests him as a betrayer. Radames tells them to get away. So Aida and Amonasro run away through the secret route.

Act 4
To leak military secrets results in the death penalty. Amneris offers to save Radames only if he promises to love and marry her. But, he refuses and is prepared to die.
Radames is buried alive in deep grave. He is surprised at the sight of Aida there. She has snuck into the grave before he was imprisoned. Together they wait for death to come.




A Comment on gAidah



gAidah was composed by Giuseppe Verdi for opening of a new opera house, in Cairo, Egypt. Verdi didnft compose it in time for the opening, but when it was finally completed, it was an outstanding work. Now, gAidah is one of the most famous operas in the world.

The gTriumphal Marchh in act 2 is the most famous melody in this opera. This march is used for the cheering of football teams around world. In this scene, Radames wins a war, and returns to Egypt, the stage is always spectacularly designed. The cavalry with real horses often appears on the stage. You would get a real feeling of luxury.

Verdi studied gEgyptian style,h their history, geography, and religion. This opera, gAidah is like a gGrand Opera.h Many people are apt to think that this opera doesnft have much depth. However, there are a lot of emotional scenes in this opera. For example, in the duet of Aida and Radames, in the last scene and in the other scenes, you would feel a sense of peace tranquility.





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