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Aida © Oldřich Pernica and Dan Jäger

Verdi Aida

From 14 February TO 22 March 2020
Národní divadlo - Praha
Program

Verdi : Aida

2 h 45 Sung in : Italian
Cast
  • Conductor
    Richard Hein
    Andreas Weiser
  • Director
    Petar Selem
Details on the Performance

To inaugurate the Suez Canal, Ismail Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, commissioned an opera from the composer whose Rigoletto opened the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo in 1869. Giuseppe Verdi dedicated great care to preparing the new work and even visited Egypt so as to have his own idea of the country. (He even had Old Egypt “Aida trumpets” made in Milan.)

Yet he only completed the opera after the Suez Canal was opened (17 November 1869) and the premiere took place on 24 December 1871 at the Teatro del’Opera in Cairo.

The dramatic charge of the story of the Egyptian Princess Aida and the warrior Radames grows out of the inner torment of a woman who has to decide between being loyal to her country or dedicating herself to a man who is one of the oppressors of her nation.

The dilemma of choosing between love and duty is also faced by Radames, who ultimately betrays his homeland because of Aida. The current State Opera production was premiered in 1994. The renowned Egyptian painter Hafíz Abdel Farghali gave a genuine Egyptian colour to the sets which, together with Josef Jelínek’s exquisite costumes, contributed to the great success of the performances.

The production also met with a tremendous response during the State Opera Prague’s two tours of Japan – in 2001, the role of Radames was portrayed by the world-famous artist José Cura, and in 2005 the celebrated singer Maria Guleghina performed with our company.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Národní divadlo - Praha Location Národní 2 - 110 00 Praha République Tchèque

  • Venue's Capacity: 988

The Venue's History in few words …

The recommended dress code is evening casual, men are advised to wear long trousers and closed shoes and elegant dress for women.

 

With the Czech artistic renaissance of the nineteenth century, the need for a theatre specialized in the national repertoire was increasingly felt.

 

The Czechs first obtained the authorisation (not without some reserve on the part of the Austrian administration) to open a temporary theatre in 1862, under Smetana's direction.

 

A veritable National Theatre, the actual Národní divadlo was opened in 1881. Fire burnt it down during the same year; in 1883 a new theatre was inaugurated with the performance of LIBUSE, composed for the occasion by Smetana.

 

The same work was performed a century later, when the house reopened after restoration.

The theatre, which still today programmes an essentially Czech repertoire, of course premiered works by Dvorak, Janacek and Martinu.

Today it presents top class performances and productions of works by Czech and foreign composers.

Národní divadlo

Synopsis

Aida

This opera is recognised as one of the world's most celebrated. Composed by Verdi, this dramatic tale, pivots around a love triangle.
It reaches the depths of emotion, with great highs of love and deep lows of despair, all common components, in magnificent dramas and tragic narratives. Outstanding performances, powerful arias and lavish mise-en-scene, intertwine, transporting audiences to a space, back in time, amidst the ruins of ancient Egypt.

Mystery, intrigue, passion and pain resonate throughout scenes and this musical, known as the 'Grand Opera', leaves audiences captivated and enthralled within its rhapsody.

HISTORY
In the Egypt of the pharaohs, Ethiopian king Amonasro threats to attack Thebe and the entire Nile valley. Young captain of the guard Radamès finds himself in love with a juvenile Ethiopian slave, named Aida, whose being Amonasro’s daughter he completely ignores. Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris is in love with Radames, instead. Jealousy and passion alongside with betrayal and war will eventually lead to the death of the young slave and her beloved captain.
Act 1
High Priest Ramphis learns from Radamès that Amonasro intends to attack Thebe. Radamès, on the other hand, dreams to be appointed commander of the Egyptian army and to annihilate the Ethiopians infantry in order to be able to claim the hand of Aida, young Ethiopian Pharaoh’s daughter ‘slave. However, Amneris is in love with the young captain and gets ballistic at the idea that he has feeling for her slave, whose heart is parted between the love for her home country and that she feels for the young Egyptian.
Act 2
Amneris tricks Aida into confessing her love for Radamès. Upon triumphantly returning from Ethiopia and accompanied by festive trumpets he asks the pharaoh to pardon the prisoners, among which stands Ethiopian’s king Amonasro and his daughter Aida. Pharaoh decides to grant Radamès request and rewards him with Amneris’ hand.
Act 3
Radamès and Aida arrange to meet by the Nile’s bank but the rendezvous is discovered by Amonasro that thus becomes aware of his daughter ‘secret love. He then suggests her took advantages of the situation to wring useful information, that might be beneficial to the Ethiopian cause, out of Radames. Aida begs her beloved to flee to Ethiopia together and after agreeing he discloses details regarding the route the Egyptian army is taking. After overhearing the conversation, Amonasro gets out of his hiding place and offers the throne and his daughter’s hand to the young commander. Nevertheless, they’re all oblivious of the fact Amneris has witnessed it all and quickly runs to the High Priest that eventually manages to get Radamès arrested for betrayal, whilst Aida is let free to runaway.
Act 4
Amneris promises to spare Radamès life if he gives up his feeling for Aida but he rejects the offer and gets walled up. Amnéris is devastated and cries her heart out in the attempt to save her beloved’s life. In his tomb, the former commander falls prey of sadness and despair but suddenly finds out Aida is in the tomb as well to hold his hand on his way to death.


MAIN ROLES

Aida, Ethiopian Princess - Soprano
Radames, a brave warrior in Egypt's army - Tenor
Amneris, The Pharaoh's Daughter - Mezzo-Soprano
Amonasro, Captive of the King of Egypt - Baritone
Ramfis, The High Priest - Bass
King of Egypt and father to Amneris - Bass

Národní divadlo
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