Giuseppe Verdi – From La Scala: Aida
Recorded in 1982.
About this collection of operas from La Scala:
Between 1960 and 1981, the music label Deutsche Grammophon recorded the eight greatest operas composed by Verdi at La Scala in Milan, the home of Italian operas. World’s leading singers and conductors were involved in the recording. The result provides you with the best possible way to get familiar with Verdi’s operas.
About this opera:
Aida, an Arabic female name meaning “visitor” or “returning”) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War. One scholar has argued that the scenario was written by Temistocle Solera and not by Auguste Mariette. Contrary to popular belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, nor that of the Khedivial Opera House (which opened with Verdi’s Rigoletto) in the same year. (Verdi had been asked to compose an ode for the opening of the Canal, but declined on the grounds that he did not write “occasional pieces”.) Verdi originally chose not to write an overture for the opera, but merely a brief orchestral prelude. He then composed an overture of the “potpourri” variety to replace the original prelude. However, in the end he decided not to have the overture performed because of its – his own words – ‘pretentious insipidity’. Aida met with great acclaim when it finally opened in Cairo on 24 December 1871. The costumes, accessories and stages for the premiere were designed by Auguste Mariette. Although Verdi did not attend the premiere in Cairo, he was most dissatisfied with the fact that the audience consisted of invited dignitaries, politicians and critics, but no members of the general public. He therefore considered the Italian (and European) premiere, held at La Scala, Milan on 8 February 1872, and in which he was heavily involved at every stage, to be its real premiere. Verdi had also written the role of Aida for the voice of Teresa Stolz, who sang it for the first time at the Milan premiere. Verdi had asked her fiancé, Angelo Mariani, to conduct the Cairo premiere, but he declined, so Giovanni Bottesini filled the gap. The Milan Amneris, Maria Waldmann, was his favourite in the role and she repeated it a number of times at his request. Aida was received with great enthusiasm at its Milan premiere. The opera was soon mounted at major opera houses throughout Italy, including the Teatro Regio di Parma (20 April 1872), the Teatro di San Carlo (30 March 1873), La Fenice (11 June 1873), the Teatro Regio di Torino (26 December 1874), the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (30 September 1877, with Giuseppina Pasqua as Amneris and Franco Novara as the King), and the Teatro Costanzi (8 October 1881, with Theresia Singer as Aida and Giulia Novelli as Amneris) among others. As of 2007, the Metropolitan Opera of New York alone has given more than 1,100 performances of the opera, making it the second most frequently performed work by the company behind La Bohème.
Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 340.71 Mb, 2 hours 20 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.