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Music: AÏDA by Giuseppe Verdi

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May 31, 2014

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Bronx Library Center

Aida, a grand opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi.  The opera was originally  commissioned by Ismail Pasha, khedive of Egypt, for the opening of the Italian  Theater in Cairo in 1869, as part of the dedication ceremonies for the Suez Canal. The production, however, was delayed—first because Verdi twice refused the commission, and then because the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War made it impossible to get the sets and costumes out of France.

The story takes place in ancient Egypt. Aida, a captive Ethiopian princess, is the slave of Amneris, daughter of the king of Egypt. Both women are in love with Radames, leader of an Egyptian campaign against Ethiopian forces under Amonasro, Aida's    father. Radames loves Aida but is awarded the hand of the princess Amneris. Torn  between love for her country and an apparently hopeless love for Radames, Aida finally entices from Radames the secret of Egypt's plan against  Ethiopia. Radames is entombed alive as a traitor. Aida conceals herself in the tomb before he enters and there joins him in death.

"Aida." Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online, 2014. Web. 12 May. 2014.