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Aida

Opera in four acts
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni
Music by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Premiered Cairo, Opera Theatre, 24 December 1871

The Characters
Name Description Voice Type Premiere Cast
The King King of Egypt bass Tommaso Costa
Amneris daughter of the King mezzo-soprano Eleonora Grossi
Aida Ethiopian slave soprano Antonietta Pozzoni-Anastasi
Radames Captain of the Guard tenor Pietro Mongini
Ramfis High Priest bass Paolo Medini
Amonasro King of Ethiopia, father of Aida baritone Francesco Steller
Termouthis High Priestess soprano Marietta Allievi
A messenger   tenor Luigi Stecchi-Bottardi
Priests, priestesses, ministers, captains, soldiers, officials, Ethiopian prisoners and slaves, Egyptian populous, etc.    chorus     
The Setting
Memphis and Thebes during the reign of the pharaohs.
The Opera
Prelude
Act I Role
Scene I
1 Introduction and Scene 'Sì, Corre voce che l'Etiope ardisca' Ramfis, Radames
2 Romanza 'Se quel guerriero io fossi! ... Celeste Aida'  Radames
3 Duet 'Quale insolita gioia nel tuo sguardo!' Amneris, Radames
4 Terzetto 'Vieni, o diletta appressati' Amneris, Aida, Radames
5 Scena e pezzo d'assieme  'Alta cagion v'aduna' the King, a messenger, Radames, Ramfis, chorus, Aida, Amneris
6   'Su! del Nilo al sacro lido' the King, Ramfis, chorus, Aida, Radames, Amneris
7 Scene  'Ritorna vincitor!'  Aida
Scene II
8 Consecration Scene and First Finale 'Possente Fthà' … 'Tu che dal nulla' Priestess, chorus, Ramfis
9 Ceremony of the Priestesses  'Immenso Fthà' … 'Mortal, diletto ai Numi' Priestesses, chorus, Ramfis
10   'Nume, custode e vindice' Ramfis, Radames, chorus, Priestess
Act II
Scene I
1 Introduction: Scene and Chorus of Women 'Chi mai fra gl'inni e i plausi' chorus, Amneris
2 Dance of the Moorish Slaves 'Vieni: sul crin ti piovano' chorus, Amneris
3 Scene and Duet 'Fu la sorte dell'armi a' tuoi funesta' Amneris, Aida
4   'Su! del Nilo al sacro lido' … 'Numi, pieta' chorus, Amneris, Aida
Scene II
5 Second Finale  'Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside' chorus, Ramfis
6 Triumphal March       
7 Ballet       
8   'Vieni, o guerriero vindice'  chorus
9   'Salvator della patria' the King, Radames, Ramfis, chorus
10   'Che veggo! ... Egli? ... Mio padre!' … 'Anch'io pugnai' Aida, Amneris, Radames, Ramfis, the King, chorus, Amonasro
11   'O Re: pei sacri Numi' … 'Glora all'Egitto' Radames, the King, Amneris, chorus, Ramfis, Aida, Amonasro
Act III
1 Introduction and Prayer 'O tu che sei d'Osiride' ... 'Vieni d'Iside al tempio' chorus, Ramfis, Amneris
2 Romanza 'Qui Radames verrà! ... 'O patria mia'  Aida
3 Duet 'Ciel! Mio padre!' ... 'Rivedrai la foreste imbalsamate' Aida, Amonasro
4 Duet, Scene and Third Finale 'Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida ... Nel fiero anelito' Radames, Aida
5   'Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti … Là, tra foreste vergini' Aida, Radames
6   'Aida!' ... 'Tu non m'ami! ... Va'!' Radames, Aida, Amonasro, Amneris, Ramfis
Act IV
Scene I
1 Scene and Duet 'L'aborrita rivale a me sfuggia'  Amneris
2   'Già i Sacerdoti adunansi' Amneris, Radames
3 Judgement Scene 'Ohimè! ... morir mi sento' Amneris, Ramfis, chorus
Scene II
4 Scene, Duet and Last Finale 'La fatal pietra sovra me si chiuse...' Radames, Aida
5   'Immenso Fthà' ... 'O terra addio' chorus, Aida, Radames, Amneris

Notes

The story of this opera is based on a scenario written by Auguste Mariette.

Sources

Busch, H. Verdi's Aida. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979.

Giuseppe Verdi, Aida [DVD liner notes]. Millo, Zajick, Domingo, Burchuladze, Milnes et al, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by James Levine, recorded 1989, Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, 2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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