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Il Re - Carlo Colombara
Amneris - Anita Rachvelishvili
Aida - Kristin Lewis
Radamès - Fabio Sartori
Ramfis - Matti Salminen
Amonasro - George Gagnidze
Messaggero - Azer Rza-Zada
La Gran Sacerdotessa - Chiara Isotton
Milan La Scala Ballet
Milan La Scala Chorus and Orchestra (chorus master: Bruno Casoni)
Zubin Mehta, conductor
Peter Stein, stage director
Ferdinand Wögerbauer, set designer
Nanà Cecchi, costumer designer
Joachim Barth, lightning designer
Massimiliano Volpini, choreographer
Recorded from Teatro alla Scala, 2015
This grandest of grand operas, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story set in ancient Egypt packed with magnificent choruses, dramatic arias, complex ensembles and elaborate ballets. The opera is, at its core, a profound exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty.
The score of this 4-act opera is a sophisticated example of Italian Romanticism as heard in the “Celeste Aida” right at the beginning of Act I, her impassioned “Ritorna vincitor!” that follows and her great internal journey, “Qui Radamès verrà! O patria mia” in Act III. At the center of Act II, is the great Triumphal Scene, which ranks among opera’s most celebrated moments.
Notable performances include a 1955 production conducted by Tullio Serafin with Maria Callas as Aida and Richard Tucker as Radamès, as well as a 1959 performance conducted by Herbert van Karajan with Renata Tebaldi as Aida and Carlo Bergonzi as Radamès.
Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world.
At the Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been performed more than 1,500 times since 1886 and was presented again in the Met’s 2018–19 season.
Aida was commissioned by and first performed at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House on December 24, 1871.
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