Credits

Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni

Artistic director and conductor: Dmitri Jurowski
Stage director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Set and costume design: Zhanna Usachyova
Lighting and footage design: Sergey Skornetsky
Plastique director: Artur Oschepkov
Choir master: Vyacheslav Podyelsky
Conductor: Pyotr Belyakin

3 hours 20 minutes

two intervals

performed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)

Aida, one of Verdis genuine masterpieces, was composed on request of Cairo Opera in tribute to the grand opening of Suez Canal. In the middle of smothering desert landscape under endless sizzling skies a love pyramid emerged: captive Ethiopian princess Aida, Egyptian warlord Radames and vengeful queen Amneris crave for fresh air and love. Oppressive need for sincerity and true feelings spur the characters on to act by fair means or foul. The new production by stage director Vyacheslav Starodubtsev and designer Zhanna Usacheva with stylish set inspired by Salvador Dali and incredible costumes presents a new genre "fashion-opera" to the audience. Musical director and conductor of the production  Dmitry Jurowski.

Act I

Ramfis, the high priest of Egypt, tells young captain of the royal guard Radames that Egypt is once again threatened by the Ethiopians, a new war lies ahead. Radames dreams of leading the Egyptian army. He hopes that should they be victorious he will be able to wed his beloved Aida, a slave of the Pharaohs daughter Amneris. Amneris is in love with Radames. She cant but notice Radames attraction to Aida. Amneris starts to suspect that the slave girl might be her rival.

The high priest pronounces the will of Gods  Radames is to lead the army. Return to us with victory,  Aida wishes him triumph together with everyone else. These words give birth to dismay in her heart for Radames marches against her people.

The high priest prophesies Radames victory over the enemy.

Act II

Amneris is preparing to welcome Radames back. Wishing to assure herself of Aidas love for Radames, Amneris resorts to a deceit  at first she says that Radames is dead, and in an instant  that he is alive. Aidas grief gives way to unconcealed joy. Now Amneris knows that her slave is in love. In a fit of wrath and before Aida Amneris exposes her feelings for Radames. Love unwillingly equals them and Amneris deliriously tells the slave of her power and dominance; threatens to kill her. Aida fights the desire to reveal the truth to her rival: she is the Ethiopian Kings daughter...

After having crushed the Ethiopians, Radames returns to Egypt with triumph. Thebes welcomes the victors returning with trophies and prisoners of war; among them is Aidas father  King Amonasro. He deceives the Pharaoh by telling him about Ethiopian Kings death, concealing the fact of being the King himself. Amonasro, Aida and then the whole crowd beg the Pharaoh to release the prisoners. Radames also swells the chorus. Pharaoh is forced to stand by his word and comply with the victors wish. Whereas in reward to Radames he gives him his daughter Amneris hand in marriage.

Act III

Amneris comes to the Temple of Isis to solicit for the goddess consent to their marriage with Radames and to request the High Priests blessing. Aida awaits Radames at the very same place. Amonasro, who is aware of his daughter and the Egyptian generals affection, by fair means or foul, convinces Aida to draw the road that the Egyptians will go along from Radames. Aidas love for Radames and duty to her native shore collide in her heart once again.

Long awaited reunion of Aida and Radames  a brief moment of love  is shadowed by realization of impossibility of their happiness in these parts. Aida is fervently persuading Radames of it awaiting them in her homeland and she is urging him to escape. Being carried away by hope, Radames tells Aida which route they should take, in order not to stumble upon the Egyptian army. Amonasros appearance reveals to Radames his own involuntary treachery. Now he has no choice but to escape with them. But Amneris, who eavesdropped on their conversation, has already called the guards and Radames yields himself prisoner to the priests.

Act IV

Horrid fate awaits Radames. Court of the priests knows no mercy. Tormented with jealousy and love desire Amneris tries to convince Radames to clear himself of the charge, she pledges her love to him, if only he gets over Aida. But Radames is loyal to his love to the bitter end.
Judges pass their sentence  the convict shall be buried alive. Desperate to save her beloved, Amneris curses the priests.

Only in death Aida and Radames are meant to reconnect. Aida sneaks into Radames tomb to share his doom. Now they will be together for eternity. By dying they maintain their love.

Amneris stands petrified by their tomb as an everlasting image of sorrow.

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