by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni
based on a scenario written by Auguste Mariette

Premiered: Khedivial Opera House, Cairo
December 24, 1871


The story of the opera Aida centers around the political conflict between Ethiopia and its warring neighbor, Egypt, as well as the personal conflict between the princesses of both countries. Princess Aida of Ethiopia, through the carelessness of youth, becomes enslaved by the Egyptians and serves as handmaiden to the Egyptian Princess Amneris. Many of Aida’s captors are fascinated by her charm and grace however, as the daughter of a king, Aida has enough wisdom to keep her true identity a secret. As the plot is revealed, Aida and Amneris are both found to be in love with the handsome, strong Egyptian Army captain, Radames. Radames unfortunately, reveals his love for Aida, much to the dismay of the Egyptian princess. Further conflict results within Aida when she realizes that she has unwittingly chosen the death of her Ethiopian loved ones over that of Radames.