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Verdi Aida

The 15 February 2021
Opéra Bastille - Paris
Program

Verdi : Aida 160 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Michele Mariotti
  • Director
    Lotte de Beer
  • Performers
    Aida: Sondra Radvanovsky
    Radamès: Jonas Kaufmann
    Amneris: Elina Garanca
    Amonasro: Ludovic Tézier
    Ramfis: Dmitry Belosselskiy
    Il Re: Soloman Howard
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opéra Bastille - Paris Location Place de la Bastille - 75012 Paris France

  • Venue's Capacity: 2745

From its beginnings under Louis XIV to the present day, including the construction of the Palais Gamier under Napoleon III, the history of the Paris Opera has been marked by the wishes and whims of the French government. The decision to build a new opera on the Place de la Bastille is no exception, made by Frangois Mitterrand less than a year after being elected President. A competition was organized, and of the 750 projects presented, the one designed by the Uruguayan-Canadian architect Carl Ott won. The new building, whose large ground surface ostentatiously marks the site where the French Revolution broke out, was inaugurated during the bicentennial celebrations of that same Revolution in 1989.

 

From the Place de la Bastille, the building's glass facade, with its "aleatory" lighting designed by Yann Kersale, suggests the sober modernism of its interior, even more so because the interior uses the same construction materials as the exterior, symbolizing a desire to open out to the public. Once inside, one can discover the warmth of the light wood that adorns the large 2703-seat hall with its proscenium stage. But the building barely stops here, for one must imagine the enormous backstage that takes up 55 per cent of the edifice's total volume, the six underground stories of technical premises, the workshops that make and stock the mobile sets as well as the costumes, not to mention the Gounod Hall, that has a stage identical to the main one, used for rehearsals. Designed around a symmetrical axis that is symbolized by the sculpted tuning forks that decorate the public premises, the Bastille Opera is a formidable computerized machine for staging opera productions, employing the population of a veritable city-within-a-city.

 

The conductor Myung-Whun Chung faced the difficult task of starting up this machine. The audience discovered productions staged by Bob Wilson or Peter Sellars, which it did not always unanimously applaud. But today, in full possession of its impressive technical means, permitting the rotation of different productions, the Bastille Opera proposes the most diverse performances. Currently managed by Hugues Gall and his music director James Conlon, revivals, premieres and major productions now share the season's billing, at a pace that leaves the audience little respite.

Since 2014, Stépahne Lissner is the Director of the Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

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

Opéra Bastille

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