The mighty walls and towering monuments of ancient Egypt once again fill the Met stage, as Verdi’s great spectacle returns. Soprano Latonia Moore—hailed for her performances in Porgy and Bess and Fire Shut Up in My Bones—stars as the Ethiopian princess torn between love and country, sharing the role with rising soprano Michelle Bradley. Mezzo-sopranos Anita Rachvelishvili and Olesya Petrova alternate as Aida’s implacable Egyptian counterpart Amneris, with tenors Brian Jagde and Marcelo Álvarez as the warrior Radamès, the object of both of their affections. Baritones George Gagnidze, Quinn Kelsey, and Luca Salsi portray Aida’s father, Amonasro, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn is the iron-fisted priest Ramfis. Maestro Paolo Carignani conducts.
World premiere: Opera House, Cairo, 1871. This grandest of grand operas features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, Aida never loses sight of its three protagonists. Few operas have matched Aida in its exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty, and perhaps no other has remained to the present day so unanimously appreciated by audiences and critics alike.