Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on December 24, 1871.
Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War. Contrary to popular belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, nor that of the Khedivial Opera House (which opened with Verdi's Rigoletto) in the same year. Verdi had been asked to compose an ode for the opening of the Canal, but declined on the grounds that he did not write "occasional pieces".
This 1974 EMI recording stars Montserrat Caballe and Placido Domingo. Riccardo Muti conducts.