Verdi: Aida (2-CD) – Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Lewis

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Verdi: Aida (2-CD) – Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Lewis

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Lewis, Veronica Simeoni, Giorgio Giuseppini, Ambrogio Maestri, Carlo Colombara, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Decca
CD Release Date: May 18, 2016

One of the world’s best-loved operas, Aida has been performed over 1,100 times at New York’s Metropolitan Opera alone. Through an opera of high dramatic tension, Verdi offers monumental scenes and intimate drama.

In this eagerly-awaited complete opera recording from Andrea Bocelli, the superstar tenor takes the lead male role of Radamès, telling a compelling story of dedication, intrigue, power, and intense love. Bocelli joins a fine cast to explore Verdi’s most spectacular work: the award-winning American soprano Kristin Lewis takes the role of Aida, the brilliant Italian mezzo Veronica Simeoni sings Amneri, Giorgio Giuseppini takes the role of Il Re (the Egyptian King), the powerful Ambrogio Maestri (Italy’s answer to Bryn Terfel) sings Amonasro and Carlo Colombara, renowned Verdi bass, sings Ramfis.

Zubin Mehta conducts a spectacular performance from the orchestra and choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – one of high dramatic tension, theatricality, and deeply resonant passion.



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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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