Opera Explained: Verdi’s Aida (Audiobook CD)

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Item: 636943800928

Description

Opera Explained: Verdi’s Aida (Audiobook CD)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Naxos
CD Release Date: January 1, 2002
Run Time: 63 minutes

Set in Ancient Egypt during the war with Ethiopia, this opera tells the story of the love between the Egyptian general Radamès and the Ethiopian slave Aida, and the jealousy of Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt.

Opera Explained
This series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the pricipal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recording of the complete work, Thomson Smillie in informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.

 



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History

Aida

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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