The story of creation of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

The story of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi creation

In 1868, the Egyptian government asked Giuseppe Verdi to write an opera on Egyptian plot for the Cairo theater, which was to be built to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. However, only in 1870 the composer agreed to undertake the order. The French scientist Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, who lived in Cairo, wrote a short script. Camille du Locle wrote libretto in prose in French, and Antonio Ghislanzoni wrote an Italian poetic text. Verdi actively participated in the creation of the libretto. It was he who introduced the theme of fidelity to the Motherland and reflected the conflict between duty and feelings (Radames, Aida), as well as the idea of ​​condemning war of conquest and hostility between peoples.

The large-scale action, the massive choir, processions and marches unite Aida with the French Grand Opera. Already in Don Carlos, Verdi showed how deeply he reconsidered this genre. Aida, with its emotional expressiveness, penetrating lyricism and drama, is a psychological musical drama in which the externality is subordinated to a high moral idea. Of course, Verdi knew very well the traditions of the Grand opera, and of its ramification, the so-called Exotic opera (its peak was L'Africaine by Giacomo Meyerbeer). A gulf separates the works of this trend and Aida. Verdi, a composer-humanist fought for justice, with all his creative work affirmed the right of people to happiness.

The ingenious musician-playwright proved in Aida the principles of classical opera high vitality. Preserving the accomplished numbers - arias, duets, ensembles, choirs, he combined them into large dramatic scenes, saturated with acute conflict. Verdi’s strength lies in his ability to reveal a feeling, character, situation through the expressive melody. In Aida, this art reached new heights. All central vocal episodes in the opera surpass in penetration, psychological and emotional richness, plastic clarity and captivating melodies everything that the composer created earlier. Each of the heroes - Aida, Radames, Amneris, Amonasro, and Ramfis - is a unique character, a character that had his only intonational harmony. The musical dramatic composition of the work is completely conflicted. This is the opera of dramatic clashes, tense struggle not only between the enemies, but between loving people as well. Hence its peculiar duetness: there is hardly any other opera in which there would be so many dialogues, often “fights” of the characters (Aida - Amneris, Aida - Amonasro, Aida - Radames, Amneris - Radames, the final duet of Aida and Radames).

The very first performance brought great success to the opera. Verdi was not present at the premiere. The triumph in Cairo was followed by the success of Aida in Verdi's homeland, and then throughout Europe. The author directed the opera staging in Milan. The premiere took place seven weeks after Cairo, and the public gave the composer 32 encores! Following Milan, on April 20, 1872, the premiere took place in Parma, on July 7 - in Padua, and on March 31, 1873 - in Naples. On April 20, 1874, the Berlin premiere took place, a few days later - Vienna, on April 22, 1876 – the opera was performed in Paris under the direction of the author. On the Parisian Grand Opera stage, the first performance took place on March 22, 1880. The Aida in Russia was a huge success as well.