At The Opera, Verdi's Aida (1967), December 12, 2020
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Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on December 24, 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world; at New York's Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been sung more than 1,100 times since 1886.
Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write an opera for performance to celebrate the opening of the Khedivial Opera House, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Siege of Paris (1870–71), during the Franco-Prussian War, when the scenery and costumes were stuck in the French capital, and Verdi's Rigoletto was performed instead. Aida eventually premiered in Cairo in late 1871. Contrary to popular belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, for which Verdi had been invited to write an inaugural hymn, but had declined.
Backstory: The Egyptians have captured and enslaved Aida, an Ethiopian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the King of Egypt. To complicate the story further, the King's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings.
Aida - Birgit Nilsson
Radames - Franco Corelli
Amonasro - Mario Sereni
Amneris - Grace Bumbry
Ramfis - Bonaldo Giaiotti
Zubin Mehta - conductor
The Rome Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
EMI - 1967
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Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
O Mio Fernando from Donizetti's La Favorita
Houston Grand Jamie Barton
Te Deum from Tosca (LIVE)
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Bryn Terfel
Don Carlo, opera: Act 4 Final B Flat!
; Eliahu Inbal, conductor
La Scala; Claudio Abbado, conductor
Rome Opera; Zubin Mehta, conductor Franco Corelli
Madama Butterfly: Con onor muore - G. Puccini