Aida at Malmö Musikteater – synopsis
Composer and librettist
Music:Giuseppe Verdi|Lyrics:Antonio Ghizlanzoni after Camille du Locles French proselibretto, build upon a scenario by Francois Mariette.
Worldpremiere at the Operahouse in Cairo on the 24th of December 1871.Attended the performance at Caracallas Termes in Rome summer 1985 and at Malmö Opera and Musikteater Storan 22.9. och 5.11.2000 and on The Royal Danish Operahouse in Copenhagen on the 3 of May 2005
Time and place: Memfis and Thebe on the Pharaons time
In ancient Egypt, near the royal palace of Memphis, Radamés learns from the high priest, Ramfis, that Ethiopia soon may bring war to the Nile valley. The young officer hopes he will be chosen as commander of the army, envisioning triumph so he can free his beloved Aida, Ethiopian slave of the proud Princess Amneris. The princess however also loves Radamés.
A messenger arrives to confirm that the Ethiopians are advancing on Thebe. Pharaoh appoints the jubilant Radamès as Egyptian commander, at which cries of victory fill the air. Left alone, Aida is torn between her love for Radamès and for her native land: though now a slave, she is in fact the daughter of Amonasro, king of Ethiopia. She prays to the gods for mercy.
In the temple, as priestesses chant the praises of Ptah, priests consecrate Radamès sword in a sacred ritual.
Ethiopia has been defeated. Amneris, prepares for Radamès triumphal entry into Thebes. The princess delude Aida into revealing her love for Radamès, and decides to destroy her rival.
Pharaoh and his people celebrate the returning commander Radamès who is crowned with a victor´s wreath. One of the captured Ethiopian is brought forward; Amonasro., Aida´s father, who signals her not to betray his identity as king. Impressed by Amonasro´s eloquent plea, Radamès asks as his reward that the prisoners will be freed. Pharaoh grants this, but keeps Amonasro in custody and against Radamès wish gives him Amneris’ hand in marriage.
Amneris is led by Ramfis to a temple of Isis for a wedding vigil.Nearby, waiting for Radamès, Aida is overcome with nostalgia for her homeland. Amonasro, who suddenly appears, preys on these on this feelings, forcing his daughter to agree to ask Radamès where the Egyptian army plans to enter Ethiopia. This she does when Radamès appears, ardent with dreams of their future life together. Just as he reveals the military secret, Amonasro steps out of hiding, and Ramfis and Amneris come forth from the temple. While Aida escapes with her father, Radamès surrenders to the priests as a traitor.
In a temple of judgment, awaiting trial, Radamès is unmoved by Amneris’ offer to save him if he will renounce Aida and marry her. When he is led away, Amneris’ pride dissolves, her love for Radamès revealed by her agony in hearing him condemned to death. Buried alive in a crypt, Radamès is joined by Aida, who has hidden there to share his fate.