Aida in Concert - Detroit Opera

Overview

An all-star cast takes on the grandest of grand operas
– which returns to our stage for the first time in nearly a decade.

 

There is hardly any opera in the repertoire that offers as many musical thrills as Aida – from the epic “Triumphal March” to the intimate passion expressed between secret lovers from rival kingdoms. Verdi’s magic is his ability to let you feel the grandness of the setting from the music alone.

This one-night-only event is a special opportunity to not only hear this most famous of operas on our stage for the first time since 2013, but also to experience it with two of the most important sopranos of our time: the captivating Angel Blue, singing Aida for the first time in preparation for her first full production of the work at the Royal Opera Covent Garden; and our very own Christine Goerke in the role of Amneris. And that’s not even mentioning superstar performers Riccardo Massi, Alfred Walker and Morris Robinson, who complete a truly all-star cast.

Conducted by Jonathon Heyward, one of the most exciting young conductors on the international scene, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear some of the most famous music in opera by an extraordinary group of musicians.

FAST FACTS

*ONE NIGHT ONLY*

Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni

Conductor: Jonathon Heyward

Performed in Italian with English Titles
Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission

PROGRAM BOOK

Artists

Jonathon Heyward

Conductor

Angel Blue

Aida

Christine Goerke

Amneris

Riccardo Massi

Radames

Alfred Walker

Amonasro

Morris Robinson

Ramfis

Kenneth Kellogg

King of Egypt

Melanie Spector
RA

A Priestess

Leo Williams
RA

A Messenger

Moníka Essen

Stage Coordinator

Chelsie McPhilimy

Lighting Designer

Ken Saltzman

Production Stage Manager

Synopsis

Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs

Act I

Scene 1

Ramfis, the Egyptians’ chief priest, tells Radamès that the god Isis has chosen the general who will lead the Egyptian armies into battle against the invading Ethiopians. Radamès hopes that he has been chosen so that he may return victorious to Aida, an enslaved Ethiopian woman, whom he loves. Amneris, Princess of Egypt, secretly loves Radamès but suspects a relationship between him and Aida. The Pharaoh hears reports of the invasion. He announces that Isis has chosen Radamès as Egyptian commander-in-chief and leads everyone in demanding revenge on the Ethiopians. Amneris urges Radamès to return victorious.

Aida, who is actually the daughter of the Ethiopian king, Amonasro, is torn between her love for her country and for Radamès. In despair, she implores the pity of the gods.

Scene 2

Ramfis brings Radamès to the altar in the temple, where he receives a sword and the gods’ blessing on the campaign.

Act II

Scene 1

Amneris prepares to welcome back Radamès from the war. Amneris tricks Aida into telling her Radamès has been killed in battle. Seeing Aida’s reaction, Amneris has confirmed her suspicion that Aida is her romantic rival. After threatening Aida, Amneris departs for the festivities.

Scene 2

The Egyptians have won the war and a triumphal scene celebrates Radamès’ victory. Amneris crowns him victor, and the Pharaoh offers him any reward he may name. Radamès asks for the Ethiopian prisoners to be summoned. Aida recognizes her father, Amonasro among them; he is in disguise and warns her not to reveal his true identity. Amonasro pleads for his fellow captives’ lives, but Ramfis and the priests demand their death. As his reward, Radamès requests freedom for the Ethiopians. The Pharaoh compromises, retaining Aida and her father as hostages. He then declares Radamès shall marry Amneris and promises that he will one day rule as Pharaoh. Amneris exults at this unexpected turn of fortune, while Radamès and Aida despair.

INTERMISSION

Act III

Ramfis takes Amneris to pray in the temple of Isis before the wedding. Aida, nearby, dreams of her homeland while she waits to meet Radamès. Her thoughts are interrupted by her father, Amonasro, who demands that she learn from Radamès what the Egyptians’ next attack plan will be.

When Radamès arrives, Aida suggests to him that he does not love her enough to leave Egypt and live with her in Ethiopia. She points out that if she and her father remain in Egypt they will be executed. He agrees to flee with her, and she asks him which route they should take to avoid the Egyptian troops. After he tells her, Amonasro appears and reveals his true identity. Radamès is appalled that he has unwittingly betrayed his country. Amneris and Ramfis emerge from the temple. Amonasro moves to attack Amneris, but Radamès prevents him. Amonasro and Aida escape. Now a traitor, Radamès surrenders to Ramfis.

Act IV

Scene 1

Radamès awaits trial. Amneris resolves to try to save him. She begs him to renounce Aida: the price of her intercession on his behalf with the Pharaoh. When he refuses, she dismisses him. The priests condemn him to be entombed alive for treason. Amneris curses them as they leave.

Scene 2

Radamès has been sealed in a tomb, where he discovers Aida hidden inside, waiting for him. They declare their love for each other. Amneris mourns for Radamès as Aida dies in his arms.

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FAST FACTS

*ONE NIGHT ONLY*

Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni

Conductor: Jonathon Heyward

Performed in Italian with English Titles
Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission

PROGRAM BOOK

Sponsors

Season Sponsor

Supported by: