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The opera Aida was written more than 140 years ago. Its premiere took place on December 24, 1871 in Cairo with a huge triumph, and still the work does not leave the stage of domestic and foreign theaters.

The story of the opera is quite interesting. By the opening of the Suez Canal, they wanted to build a Cairo theater in 1869. The government of Egypt a year earlier asked Giuseppe Verdi to write an opera on an Egyptian theme. But the composer agreed to take up the composition of Aida only in 1870. A short script was drawn up by the French Egyptologist Mariette, who lived in Cairo.

The opera Aida is a psychological musical drama in which the situation is subordinated to a high moral idea. Verdi with all his work affirmed the right of people to happiness. And as a humanist composer, he fought for justice. He demonstrated in the opera Aida the great power of love that even death cannot overcome.

The action takes place during the rule of the Egyptian pharaohs in Memphis and Thebes.

The first action.

In the palace of the pharaoh in Memphis comes the news that the Ethiopians are threatening an attack on the Egyptians. Radames is eager to become the chosen one of the patroness of Egypt, Isis (“Se quel guerrier io fosso!” – “Ah, if I had been elected!”), He dreams of leading the troops to the Egyptians and winning. And in return, he will demand the release of his beloved – the captive of the pharaoh Aida (“Celeste Aida” – “Sweet Aida”). Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris, is secretly in love with Radames. Seeing the young man in great excitement, in a conversation with him she realizes his love for the slave (duet “Forse l’arcano amore” – “Suspects the Secret”).

Also in great confusion Aida herself, she is very alarmed. Her heart is torn to pieces between fear for the fate of her Ethiopian people and love for the enemy of the people, Radames (terget “Vieni, o diletta” – “Oh, come to me”).

The king, along with his retinue to the sounds of fanfare, appears to meet the messenger. He brought disturbing news – the Ethiopians, led by their king Amonasro (the father of Aida) crossed the borders of Egypt and are approaching Thebes. The Pharaoh declares that by the will of the Egyptian gods Radames will lead the battle (“Su! Del Nilo al sacro lido” – “To the shores of the sacred Nile”). Aida becomes desperate, she prays for her father, King Amonasro, but she is horrified to understand that the victory of her father means the death of her lover (“Ritorna vincitor! ..” – “Come back with victory to us!”). In her soul there is a painful struggle between love for Radames and fear for her father, she prays to the Gods to take pity on her. She is not afraid of death, and even prefers to die in order to get rid of this painful suffering (“I sacri nomi di padre … d’amante” – “And I do not dare openly, freely”).

The second action.

Slaves dress Amneris, who is waiting for the return of Radames (“Ah! Vieni, amor mio” – “My dear! Come”). He defeated the Ethiopians. Aida brings her a crown. Suspecting a rival in Hades, Amneris tells her about Giuseppe Verdigibeli Radames to find out about her feelings for him. A cry of despair betrays Aida’s feelings for Radames. Upon learning the truth, Amneris answers her with passionate and angry threats (duet “Tu la sorte dell’armi” – “Your arms have changed your brothers”; “Amore, amore!” – “Love and joy”).

On the square in Thebes, everyone is ready for the solemn meeting of the winners (“Gloria all’Egitto, ad Iside” – “Glory to Egypt and the Gods!”). The entry of Radames in a chariot causes general rejoicing in the square. Radames bows before the pharaoh, and his daughter Amneris lays a crown on the head of the winner. The king asks the commander what he wants. Radames asks to enter the prisoners. Among them is Amonasro, who warns his daughter who rushed to him so that she does not give his name and dignity. He is trying to avert suspicion and posing as a military leader, reports that the king of the Ethiopians died in battle. Unhappy prisoners and slaves ask Pharaoh for mercy (“Quest’assisa ch’io vesto” – “You see these clothes are simple”). Priests oppose, they demand the death of captives, but the Egyptian people asks for mercy of the vanquished. The king is bound by his promise to Radames and frees the captives, leaving, at the insistence of the priest, Aida and Amonasro hostages. And Radames gives his daughter a hand as a reward. Amneris certainly rejoices; Aida and Radames, in contrast, are desperate.

The third action.

Night. From the temple are heard the hymns of Isis (“O tu che sei d’Osiride” – “Mother of the Immortal of the Gods”). This is Amneris preparing to marry Radames. And on the banks of the Nile Radames awaits Hades to say goodbye to him forever (“O cieli azzuri” – “Azure Sky”). But before Radames appears, Aidu finds Amonasro. Upon learning of the love of Radames and Aida, he demands that she find out from the Egyptian the secret which way Radames will lead the troops against the Ethiopians. He eloquently explains to her what a new defeat will mean for her own people, and if he knows where to attack the Egyptians, this will help the Ethiopians win (“Riverdrai le foreste imbalsamate” – “We will return to our native land soon”).

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