Aida is a timeless story of duty, love and betrayal amid the clash of war. This is opera on a grand scale, in which ENO’s award-winning Chorus and Orchestra will demonstrate their full power.
The show transports audiences to ancient Egypt, where the Egyptians have captured and enslaved the eponymous Ethopian princess. Lying about her identity, Aida soon becomes the object of the affections of the Egyptian General Radames – a love she secretly reciprocates.
But when the Egyptian King appoints Radames to the position of supreme commander in the war effort against Ethiopia, Aida finds herself torn between her love for country and her heart – will Aida reveal her identity, and can the two escape the inevitable? Set across four acts, Giuseppe Verdi’s work, with an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, is renowned as a staple romantic opera, being one of the most frequently performed operas in the world.
Aida originally premiered in Cairo in late 1871 to an audience of dignitaries, but no members of the public. Verdi himself therefore reputedly considered its Italian and European premiere, in La Scala, Milan, in 1872, its real premiere. Its resulting success lead to the production being mounted in opera houses throughout the country – and the world, including the United States – over the next decade. Its story later became the basis of a 1998 musical of the same name penned by Elton John and Tim Rice.
Following his recent production of Akhnaten for ENO, Improbable’s Olivier Award-winning director Phelim McDermott stages this distinctive new production. Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts Verdi’s score which contrasts swaggering military marches with tender lyricism.
Sharing the title role are two sopranos – Latonia Moore and Morenike Fadayomi – both of whom are making their ENO debuts. As Radamès, the production welcomes back the popular ENO artist Gwyn Hughes Jones.
Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage.