Aida at Giza
From: Friday, October 12 2007, 2:30 pm
to: Wednesday, October 17 2007, 5:00 pm
What could be more spectacular than a production of Verdi's Aida staged in front of the Giza Pyramid, just outside Cairo? Sometimes annual (but not in 2004) the Cairo Opera House gives performances of Verdi's opera, where the triumphal march will be one of the most lavish things you have ever seen.
Giuseppe Verdi wrote his antepenultimate opera for the Cairo Opera House. However, it was not - as so commonly assumed - written either for the opening of the Suez Canal, or the Cairo Opera House in 1869. Verdi did not receive the libretto until the following year and the opera was not premièred until 24 December 1871.
The rest, though, is history! His tragic working of the famous tale of star-crossed lovers - the triumphant Egyptian captain Radamès and the captured Ethiopian slave-girl, Aida - stormed the operatic world and remains one of the best-loved operas of all time. After Aida, he took himself off to self-imposed retirement before being persuaded to return to the stage for his last two operas, Otello and Falstaff 16 years later.
Radamès and Aida's problems are compounded by the fact that the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris is also in love with Radamès. Also, it just so happens that Aida's father is, in fact, the leader of the Ethiopians that Radamès has defeated. We're not giving too much away when we tell you that Amneris gets her revenge and - because Radamès will not renounce Aida - sentences him to be entombed alive. There is a brief, final moment of joy as Aida steals into the tomb to die in her lover's arms.