The Performing Arts Center presents Opera Verdi Europa’s concert performance of Aida on April 1 in Hodgson Hall. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Aida is a story of triumph and tragedy set in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs. The opera premiered Dec. 24, 1871, in Cairo and has been one of the world’s favorite operas ever since.
As the story of Aida opens, the Ethiopian army is threatening the Nile Valley, and the young officer Radames is chosen to lead the Egyptian army into battle in defense. If he is victorious, Radames hopes to win the freedom of his beloved, Aida, the Ethiopian slave of Princess Amneris. To complicate matters, Amneris is also in love with Radames.
The Ethiopians are defeated and Radames and the Egyptian army make a triumphal return to Thebes, underscored by Verdi’s famous Grand March. As the opera continues, jealousy and betrayal ensue, and Radames refuses to give up Aida for Princess Amneris. He is buried alive in a tomb where Aida has hidden to share the fate of her beloved. The two doomed lovers sing a final duet before dying together.
Based in Bulgaria, Opera Verdi Europa was founded in 1996 and has quickly gained an international reputation for its spectacular productions. The company appears regularly on Europe’s most prestigious opera stages, and it tours over 70 productions throughout the world each year. The Athens performance is part of Opera Verdi Europa’s second tour of the United States.
The orchestra for this production of Aida will be conducted by Nayden Todorov, who has served as principal conductor of the Sofia Festival Orchestra and the Israel Symphony Orchestra. The performance will be sung in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage.
A pre-concert lecture will be given by Stephanie Tingler of the School of Music. The lecture begins 45 minutes prior to the performance and is free and open to the public.