AidaSaturday, April 13
Tuesday, April 16
Friday, April 19

Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni
Place: Memphis and Thebes in ancient Egypt
Time: The dynasty of the Pharaohs

Sung in Italian with projected English translations.

Running time is approximately 3 hours.

The grandest of grand operas, Aïda returns to Manitoba Opera for the first time in over a decade.

Impassioned arias, surging choruses, and exhilarating orchestral music shows us Verdi at the peak of his powers – masterfully balancing pomp and pageantry with a deeply moving personal tragedy.

The Story

Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt, loves Radames, the captain of the Egyptian guard. But he loves Amneris' Ethiopian slave, Aida, who loves him back. What he doesn't know is that Aida's father is Amonasro, the King of Ethiopia and his country's greatest enemy.

Amonasro convinces Aida to pry a crucial battle secret from Radames, under the guise of information they need for safe elopement. His fellow Egyptians overhear his treachery and sentence him to be buried alive. Once inside the vault, he finds his beloved, Aida, who chooses to die with him rather than live without him.

The Music

Aida boasts enormous, sweeping arias that blend together Verdi's human passion, Italian melodrama, and French grand opera spectacle, featuring the unforgettable Triumphal Scene.

The Synopsis

Read the full synopsis here.

Click here to view the program.

Offstage Interviews

OffStage with Phillip Ens
Offstage with Tiziana Carraro
Offstage with Rafael Davila
Offstage with Michele Capalbo

Study Guide
Click here to download the study guide for Aida.

Click here for Behind the Scenes stats.


Manitoba Opera’s 2000 production of Aida.

Verdi was commissioned to compose Aïda by the ruler (Khedive) of Egypt, Isma’il Pasha for the then enormous sum of 150,000 francs.  The commission was not to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal but rather to mark the opening of a new opera hall in Cairo.  The libretto was written by Antonio Ghislanzoni based on a plot developed by Auguste Mariette, the foremost Egyptologist of the era.  He based the plot on his historical research of the Upper Nile valley.  The première was planned for January 1871.  However it was delayed by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War and finally took place in Cairo on December 24, 1871 where it was met with enthusiastic acclaim.  Aïda’s European première took place at La Scala in Milan on February 8, 1872.  Given its success in Cairo and Milan, Aïda productions were quickly mounted throughout Italy in the following years.  It was premièred in New York in 1873, in St. Petersburg in 1875, and in both Paris and London in 1876. (More...)

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