Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Aida
What is more important – love or duty to the homeland?
Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni
Author: Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor: Jaroslav Kyzlink
Director: Václav Věžník
Set Design: Vladimír Soukenka
Costume Design: Josef Jelínek
Chorus Master: Josef Pančík
Choreography: Zdeněk Prokeš
Performed in the original Italian with Czech surtitles
The dramatic love story of the Ethiopian princess Aida and the Egyptian ruler Radames
Premiere 12th January 2003, Janáček Theatre.
Revival 22nd January 2010, Janáček Theatre.
The Egyptian viceroy Isma’il Pasha commissioned the opera from the composer whose Rigoletto opened the opera house in Cairo in 1869. Verdi took great care in its preparation. He gave up on his attempts to approximate local colour, and the only place where there is an Egyptian flavour to the music is the ceremonial song at the start of the third act. While he took an interest in what ancient Egyptian music was like, but he did not have any faith in the research of musicologists: he had ancient Egyptian trumpets made to his own specifications. The premiere took place on Christmas Eve in 1871 in Cairo. The title role was performed by the world-renowned soprano with Czech origins, Teresa Stolz. The basis of the libretto was a tale by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette: the dramatic love story of the Ethiopian princess Aida and the Egyptian captain Radames, whose happiness together is prevented by the enmity of their nations. The opera, which Verdi composed in only four months, crowned the already famous composer’s search for a new style. Aida is a constant in all the significant opera houses. In Brno it has been in the repertoire without a break for more than a decade, in the staging by the director Václav Věžník.