Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, written by Egyptologist François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette
commissioned by the Egyptian khedive Ismail Pasha for the Cairo Opera House
Opera in 4 acts
The performance has three intermissions.
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Age category: 10+
The opera is performed in Italian, accompanied by synchronized subtitles in Russian and Kazakh
Pharaoh, Egyptian king (bass)
Ramfis, high priest (bass)
Radames, young chief of the palace guards (tenor)
Amneris, Pharaoh's Daughter (mezzo-soprano)
Aida, an Ethiopian slave (soprano)
Amonasro, Ethiopian king, father of Aida (baritone)
Priests, priestesses, courtiers, soldiers, servants, slaves and captives Ethiopians, the Egyptian people
Symphony orchestra, chorus and ballet of the Abay Kazakh National Opera and Ballet Theater
Production-conductor - Yerbolat Akhmedyarov, Honored Figure of the Republic of Kazakhstan, chief conductor of Abay KazNTOB
Conductor - Nurlan Zharasov, Honored Figure of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Stage director - Laylim Imangazina, Honored Figure of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Production designer - Vyacheslav Okunev, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, laureate of State Prizes (St. Petersburg)
Multimedia artist - Victoria Zlotnikova (Russia)
Choreography - Mintai Tleubaev, Honored Artist of the Kazakh SSR
Chief Choirmaster - Aliya Temirbekova
Artistic director of the ballet troupe - Gulzhan Tutkibaeva, People's Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan
In the palace of the Pharaoh in Memphis, the news of the invasion of the Ethiopians was received. The chief of the palace guards, Radames, dreams of glory. He hopes to be appointed as General. As a reward for the victory, he will demand the release of his beloved Aida - the captive of the Pharaoh. Pharaoh's daughter Amneris guesses about Radames' love for a slave. Aida's embarrassment heightens suspicions.
Pharaoh solemnly communicates the will of the Gods - the Egyptian troops will lead by Radames. Aida is confused. A painful struggle flares up in her soul between love to Radames and fear for her father, the leader of the Ethiopians, Amonasro. In the temple of God Ra, a solemn ceremony of dedication of Radames takes place. The priests appeal to the gods to send victory to Egypt. The high priest presents the sacred sword to Radames.
Amneris, in joyful excitement, awaits the return of Radames, who defeated the Ethiopians. At the sight of Aida, her doubts and jealousy awaken with renewed vigor. Wanting to find out a secret from the captive, Pharaoh's daughter tells her that Radames is dead. Aida is unable to hide her despair. In anger, Amneris threatens the slave with a terrible punishment.
The triumphal sounds of trumpets can be heard from the square. Aida again prays to the gods for death. She is unable to give up love.
The people solemnly greet the winners. The captive Ethiopians appear before the Pharaoh. Among them is Amonasro. He hurriedly warns his daughter who rushed to him: no one should know that he is a king. Radames asks for the release of the vanquished. The captives beg for mercy. All the people join their requests. On the advice of Ramfis, the pharaoh decides to leave Aida and her father as hostages. He gives his daughter's hand to Radames as a reward. With triumph Amneris observes the mountain of Aida.
Night. Bank of the Nile. In the temple of Isis, Amneris prepares to marry Radames. Aida is waiting for her lover to say goodbye to him forever. With sadness she recalls her homeland, which she was not destined to see again.
Amonasro suddenly appears. He knew about his daughter's love for Radames, about her rivalry with Amneris. The Ethiopian leader reminds Aida of her duty to the Motherland and demands that she find out which way Radames will lead the troops. Having met a refusal, he angrily curses Aida - she is not the king's daughter, but the despicable slave of Pharaoh. Exhausted by mental struggle, Aida agrees to fulfill her father's demand. She is ready to sacrifice her love to her homeland.
At the sight of Radames, Amonasro hides. Aida convinces Radames that there is only one way to escape - to flee to Ethiopia.
Radames hesitates, he cannot leave his homeland. However, Aida's reproaches make him decide. And when Aida asks which way the Egyptian troops will go, the unsuspecting Radames reveals a secret to her. A triumphant Amonasro appears - now victory for the Ethiopians is assured. Radames is terrified. He turned out to be an unwitting traitor to his homeland. It's too late to run - seeing Ramfis and Amneris leaving the temple, Radames surrenders himself into the hands of the high priest.
In the dungeons of the palace, has to begin the trial of Radames. Amneris begs him in vain to repent, to abandon Aida. As a reward, she promises him her love and the crown of Egypt. But Radames is adamant. Amneris threatens Radames with terrible revenge, then passionately prays to the gods for his salvation. High Priest Ramfis pronounces judgment - Radames will die in the dungeon. He will be buried alive.
Before dying in the dungeon, Radames dreams of his beloved. Aida suddenly appears. She decided to share his fate and die with him. Now no one can separate them. Singing is heard from the temple. Amneris bent over the stone that closed the entrance to the dungeon in deep sorrow.
Giuseppe Verdi is the greatest composer. An amazing providence chose him to become a symbol of the unification of Italy and a composer, without whom the opera would never be as we know it today.
His operas, which have become the pinnacle of not only Italian, but of the entire world opera, breathe by sincerity and inspiration, they have entered the treasury of world opera art. Centuries later, exactly Verdi's operas there are the most popular and most performed on the stages of the best musical theaters.
The composer has composed twenty-six operas and one requiem. The best works are «Un ballo in maschera», «Il trovatore», «Rigoletto» and «La Traviata». However, according to critics and experts, the pinnacle of Verdi's work is his latest operas «Othello», «Aida» and «Falstaff».
Opera «Aida» can be called one of the best in the history of music. Everything is beautiful in it: colorful music, vivid images and an unusual plot, based on real historical events, which gives it a special poignancy. The creation of «Aida» stems from a proposal by the Egyptian government to write an opera for a new opera house in Cairo to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal. The script was written by the famous Egyptologist - François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette, who took as the basis of the plot a legend, which he read after decrypting an ancient papyrus found in one of the tombs. Stiry talked about the long struggle of the pharaohs against Nubia (Ethiopia). Mariette's friend - Camille du Locle wrote a prosaic presentation of the plot, and the poet Antonio Ghislanzoni wrote an Italian libretto in verse. Verdi actively participated in the creation of the libretto, he himself gave extremely detailed instructions regarding plot twists and even wrote some poetic lines. Exactly Verdi introduced the theme of loyalty to the homeland and the conflict between duty and feeling (Radames, Aida), as well as the idea of condemning wars of conquest and enmity between nations.
Work on the opera lasted two years. As for the music, it was written in four months.
The premiere of «Aida» took place on December 24, 1871 in Cairo.
Since then, Verdi's immortal creation has adorned the repertoire of all the world's leading opera houses, causing the audience to delight.
On the stage of the Abay Kazakh National Opera and Ballet Theater, the opera «Aida» was staged by the Honored Art Figure of the RSFSR - Boris Ryabikin (1970) and People's Artist of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan - Firudin Safarov (2001). Scenography by Gulfayrus Ismailova, Honored Art Figure of the Kazakh SSR, People's Artist of Kazakhstan.