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Doomed Love

Verdi's 'Aida' at San Diego Opera,
enjoyed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

Most opera libretti are taken from plays or novels and many of the stories appeared in several forms before they graced the lyric stage. Aida, however, is different because its story was first seen as an opera.

Carlo Ventre as Radames and Indra Thomas in the title role of Verdi's 'Aida' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver
Carlo Ventre as Radames and Indra Thomas in the title role of Verdi's 'Aida' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver

In 1866, while on a trip to the Upper Nile, French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette collected material for a short story he expected to call La Fiancée du Nil. By 1870 he had done little with it, however, and he then thought that it would please his employer, the Khedive, if the story could form the basis for an opera. The Khedive liked the story so Mariette passed it on to Camille du Locle, who together with Joseph Méry, had co-authored the French libretto of Verdi's Don Carlos. The composer was not sure he wanted to compose music for Aida and took some time to think it over, but when du Locle threatened to ask Richard Wagner to write the opera, Verdi took up the challenge.

José Gallisa as The King of Egypt in Verdi's 'Aida' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver
José Gallisa as The King of Egypt in Verdi's 'Aida' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver

 

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Copyright © 20 April 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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