Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Opera: Aida

"In your looks I trace a joy unwonted"


Before the grand pageantry of Hollywood’s Cleopatra or The Ten Commandments, there was Verdi’s Aida. Set in the Egypt of the Pharaohs, this vast, sweeping saga of love, loyalty and treason is an operatic tour de force which stirs the emotions like few others.

Tonight is the last opera of the 2010/2011 season. As always, Calgary Opera is ending on a bang with the famous story of Aida by one of my favorite classic composers, Giuseppe Verdi. The season always starts and ends strong with the middle performance always being something a little experimental and painful to sit through (My dad and I have gotten into the habit of leaving at first intermission if it's terrible).

Aida, an Ethiopian princess, is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. A military commander, Radames, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. To complicate the story further, Radames is loved by the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris, although he does not return her feelings.

I'm interested to see this production because, as I mentioned before, Verdi is a favorite composer of mine and his arias tend to be uplifting, captivating and catchy. He's romantic and full of energy, both dark and light. He sets the mood so well for celebration. This should be fantastic.

I took a peak at the 2011/2012 season and it looks good. I am aware though, that I have been going to the opera a long time now. Well over 10 years... three operas a year. La Boheme is coming back to close up the season. That has to be one of my top five favorite operas of all time (another favorite composer,  Giacomo Puccini).  I'm not sure where I will be this time next year, life seems to be leading me towards adventure and there is a plan that I might be on one of my greatest adventures ever... this time next year. Which I want to be, I want to be on the adventure. So, we will see.

But, see La Boheme next year. Make a point of it. And see it with someone speical.

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