By Burton D. Fisher
A handy, pocket-sized consultant to Verdi's AIDA which contains the valuable CHARACTERS within the opera, the tale SYNOPSIS, a tale NARRATIVE WITH ONE-BAR tune spotlight examples, and an essay supplying history in regards to the opera and its composer, research, and insightful remark.
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Additional resources for Aida (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series)
The repentant Amneris is in the temple praying for Radames’s soul. ida has been referred to as a necklace of musically fine jewels, so rich in melody and harmony, its music so closely wedded in its expressive power to the meaning of the text, and so broadly dramatic in all of its aspects, that it claims a place among the most phenomenal artistic creations of the second millennium. Aida is without doubt a true operatic masterpiece. Within Aida’s panorama of war, processions, ceremonies, trials, and death, the opera presents the pulsing life of human beings.
It is a work with opulent musical color, gorgeous orchestral instrumentation, and melodic splendor and beauty in every musical measure. The only Italian opera composer who has rivaled Aida is Verdi himself, who would resurface 15 years later with perhaps the ultimate music drama, Otello, and later with Falstaff—the great Italian master’s reconciliation with the evolution of the operatic art form; the Italian music of the future. In Aida, Verdi ennobled powerful, towering, and intense human emotions and passions as each character faces conflicts of love, honor, and duty.
Amneris is unable even to finish her sentence when Aida convulsively erupts. Amneris then gloats in her triumph: “Tremble! I read your heart! ” In this incredibly powerful confrontation scene, Verdi abandoned his librettist’s polished verses and substituted violent prose, nothing more explosive than Amneris’s conclusion: “Yes, you love him, but so do I! Do you hear me? I am your rival! ” And finally, Amneris curses Aida as her detested rival. Aida, in vain, can only plead for mercy and pity. Similarly, the Act IV confrontation between Amneris and Radames contains Aida’s trademark explosions and eruptions of passions.