Ancient Egypt and the war with Ethiopia is the setting for Verdi’s grandest opera. It is the story of the love between Rhadames, the Egyptian general, and Aida, an Ethiopian slave, and the jealousy of Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt. It was written in 1871 to a commission from the Khedive of Egypt to inaugurate the new opera house in Cairo. Aida generally is considered one of the most spectacular of Verdi’s operas.
But Thomson Smillie, in his fascinating introduction to the work, presented by actor David Timson, says it is, more accurately, "a chamber opera with a grand march through the middle of it". The historic background - how and why it came to be composed - is clearly explained. This is followed by the plot, the characters, and the principal arias and musical moments - a perfect way of getting to know the work.
With ancient Egypt's war with Ethiopia the setting for this opera's love story, Aida is generally considered one of the most spectacular examples of Verdi's work. Narrator David Timson performs Thomson Smillie's exploration of the historic background behind Aida - how and why it came to be composed - and the difficulties and challenges for its performers. Timson's refined delivery enhances the accessibility and charm of Smillie's words and listeners new to opera will find this audiobook a wonderful introduction to this musical world.
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