The Triumphal March immortalized this large-scale drama that takes us to the heart of ancient Egypt.

Preview

  • 6:30 PMPreOpera
  • 7:30 PMOpera starts
  • 8:50 PM Intermission
  • 9:40 PMIntermission
  • 10:30 PMOpera ends
Language: 
Italian (Subtitles : French and English)
Duration: 
3 h
Intermission: 
2

Summary

Verdi’s letters reveal that, throughout the development of the project—born in the mind of Egyptologist Auguste Mariette—, the composer’s main concern was to make the story work above all else. Whether through the exoticism of the ritual scenes or the breathtaking lyricism of such arias as “Celeste Aida,” everything becomes a means of dramatic expression. In Verdi’s own words, Aida is “more intense, more theatrical” than any of his other operas.

Multimedia

Musical excerpts

Aida - Musical excerpts

The tragic story of forbidden love...

Podcasts

Aida - Podcast

In French.

Photos

Aida - Photos

Photos taken in 2006 at the Opéra de Montréal.

Videos

Aida - TV ad

Designing by Brad, making by Les enfants.

Videos

Aida - A political warfare

Michel Beaulac, Artistic Director.

Videos

Aida - A high-calibre cast

Michel Beaulac, Artistic Director

Videos

Aida - Staging: a huge challenge!

François Racine, Stage Director

Composer

Giuseppe Verdi  >

Verdi was born into a family of modest means—although perhaps not as modest as he liked to claim. He began his musical education with the village organist, went on to study with the maestro di musica in Busseto, and from there completed his studies in Milan—then considered the capital of Italian culture—with Lavigna, répétiteur at La Scala. Lavigna taught him counterpoint and composition, and encouraged him to attend opera performances.

Stage Director

François Racine  >

François Racine is firmly established as one of the leaders on today’s opera scene, engaged by companies throughout North America and beyond.

Synopsis

  • Act 1 - Memphis, in the king’s palace

    Egypt, at the time of the pharaohs. Ethiopia is getting ready to attack Egypt. Radamès, the captain of the guard, is hoping to be named commander of the Egyptian army so that he may win the love of Aida, an Ethiopian slave in the service of Amneris, the king’s daughter. Amneris also desires Radamès but wants to look into his heart, as she suspects that he has feelings for Aida. The Ethiopian armies, led by their king Amonasro, invade Egypt. In the Egyptian camp, Radamès is named supreme commander. Amneris triumphs, while Aida is torn between the love for her country and her passion for an enemy.

    Memphis, temple of the god Ptah. Radamès receives the signs of his rank from the priest Ramfis.

    Amneris’s chamber. Amneris anxiously waits for Radamès to return, victorious, from the battlefield. But when she sees Aida, she is once again seized by doubt. Feigning compassion, she tests her slave by having her believe that Radamès has been killed before revealing the truth. Aida cannot contain her joy. Furious, Amneris tells her that they are rivals. Aida begs the gods to have pity.

    A gate at the city of Thebes. All of Memphis welcomes the victorious soldiers and their general, Radamès. As a reward from the king, Radamès asks that the Ethiopian prisoners be given their freedom. As they are led in, Aida recognizes her father, Amonasro, among them, dressed in rags to hide his identity. Amonasro declares that his king is dead and begs for clemency for all the prisoners from the King of Egypt. Ramfis and the priests protest, but Radamès reminds them of the king’s promise to grant his wish: “life and liberty for the Ethiopian slaves.” Only Aida and her father will remain in Memphis. The King offers Radamès Amneris’s hand.

  • Act 2 - On the banks of the Nile, at the foot of the Temple of Isis

    Amneris, on the eve of her wedding, comes to the temple to pray that Radamès will give her his love. Behind a veil, Aida awaits Radamès. She thinks of her lost homeland but is interrupted when Amonasro arrives and orders her to get Radamès to reveal the route the Egyptian troops will take to fend off the Ethiopians. She resists at first but finally agrees before suggesting to Radamès that they flee to Ethiopia, where they will be free to love one another. Radamès tells her the chosen route, giving Amonasro what he wanted, as he suddenly reveals himself. Radamès realizes that he has just betrayed his country. Amneris surprises them and sounds the alarm. Aida and her father escape, while Radamès surrenders.

  • Act 3 - A hall in the king’s palace

    Amneris knows the fate that awaits Radamès and wants to save him. Resisting her help, Radamès is resigned to die, as he will never renounce Aida. Accused of treason, desertion, and perjury, Radamès is condemned to be buried alive.

    Crypt in the Temple of Ptah. Radamès is still dreaming of Aida, as the fatal stone closes him into the vault. Suddenly, he hears a voice: Aida has hidden in the vault to share his fate. The lovers bid farewell to the world. As the priests pray in the temple, Amneris asks the gods to comfort her tortured soul.

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