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Seattle Opera.

Overview

The April 25, 2020 broadcast of this production on 98.1 KING FM was originally recorded on May 12, 2018. It features Alexandra LoBianco as Aida, Elena Gabouri as Amneris, David Pomeroy as Radamès, and Alfred Walker as Amonasro. Full cast list is available below.

The production of the year.”

The Stranger


By Giuseppe Verdi

A profoundly personal love story told on a grand scale, Aida showcases Verdi's power to translate human emotions into magnificent music. The high-stakes love triangle between a prisoner of war, a conflicted military commander, and a formidable princess unfolds amid glorious spectacle and rousing choruses—including the famous Triumphal March.

Director Francesca Zambello's "spectacular" (Opera Warhorses) new-to-Seattle production features choreography by contemporary dance leader Jessica Lang, as well as designs by "art world superstar" (San Francisco Chronicle) RETNA, who cites the structure of Egyptian hieroglyphs as the basis for his striking visuals.

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Watch the preview for Aida.

Listen to the music

San Francisco Opera, Aida, 2016 © Cory Weaver

In Italian with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 3 hours including 1 intermission.

 

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Synopsis

Director's Note
“Verdi set his magnificent opera, Aida, in Egypt/North Africa. This production—while not tied literally to historic time and place—uses this location as a springboard for telling universal themes of conflict when we are forced to choose between either the love for our family and country or following our heart. Instead of presenting this as a historical piece, we’re taking a modern approach in order to better connect with the humanity of the characters and more clearly see how they mirror who we are today.” —E. Loren Meeker

The Story of AIDA

Act I
Radamès, an army officer, hopes to be chosen to lead his people to victory. If he can win the war, he speculates, he might also be allowed to marry Aida, who is a captive from the nation Radamès is aiming to conquer. Princess Amneris, who loves Radamès, notices that he is strongly affected by the appearance of Aida. Amneris is overcome with jealousy. Accompanied by his ministers, the King enters. A messenger brings news of an imminent invasion. Radamès is announced as the chosen commander. The crowd expresses their hope for his victorious return. Aida, too, is caught up in the battle cry, and after the court leaves, berates herself for having called for the defeat of her own people. Divided between loyalty to her country and her love for Radamès, she asks the gods for strength.

Act II
The troops led by Radamès have won the war. Amneris, still tormented by doubt and jealousy, resolves to question Aida and confirm her suspicions. Amneris manages to trick Aida into revealing her love for Radamès; furious, Amneris tells Aida to give up all hope of being with Radamès. The people celebrate the return of the victorious army. Radamès asks that the prisoners of war be brought forth; among them, Aida recognizes her father. Hiding his true identity, her father, King Amonasro, pleads for the lives of his people. Radamès asks that the prisoners be set free. The high priest Ramfis, warning of the consequences, succeeds in having Aida and her father retained as hostages. Amneris’s father rewards Radamès with her hand in marriage.

Intermission

Act III
To prepare for her wedding to Radamès, Amneris retires to the temple to worship with Ramfis. Outside the temple, Aida waits for Radamès. She longs for the happiness she knew as a child in her homeland. Her father joins her and raises her hopes for a happy life at the side of her beloved. Hoping to exploit Aida’s love for Radamès, Amonasro demands she find out from Radamès the name of the route his armies will take. Amonasro conceals himself nearby, where he can overhear the plan. Radamès affirms his love for Aida and hopes another victory will allow him to win her once and for all. Aida does not share his enthusiasm and instead encourages him to flee the country with her. As they start to leave, Aida asks which route his troops will take. Radamès answers her, whereupon Amonasro reveals himself and Radamès realizes he has blurted out an important military secret. Realizing he has also been overheard by Ramfis and Amneris as they leave the temple, Radamès surrenders to the High Priest, ready to accept the consequences of his betrayal.

Act IV
Torn between love and jealousy, Amneris hopes to save Radamès from the priests and win him for herself. She urges him to defend himself, but he rejects her. The priests assemble and three times allow Radamès a chance to present his defense; but three times he is silent. They sentence him to death. Amneris pleads with the priests to revoke the sentence, and when they ignore her, she curses them.

Buried alive in a tomb, Radamès finds Aida, who had hidden there earlier. While the priests chant their hymns, the two lovers die, united at last. Above their tomb, Amneris prays for peace.

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Cast

Leah Crocetto

Aida

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Leonora, Il trovatore

Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
Seattle Opera Debut: Aida, Aida ('18)
Recently: Norma, Norma (North Carolina Opera); Floria Tosca, Tosca (Pittsburgh Opera); Elisabetta, Don Carlo (Washington National Opera); Leonora, Il trovatore (Oper Frankfurt); Liù, Turandot (San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: October 2018

Leah Crocetto

Aida

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 13, 16, & 19

Alexandra LoBianco

Aida

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Stantuzza, Cavalleria rusticana

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Seattle Opera Debut: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (’14)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Aida, Aida ('18)
Recently: Chrysothemis, Elektra (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Prima Donna/Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (Austin Opera); Helmwige, Die Walküre (Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Upcoming: Tosca, Tosca (Portland Opera), Aida, Aida (Opera Carolina), Leonore, Fidelio (North Carolina Opera)

Last updated: September 2020

 

Alexandra LoBianco

Aida

May 6, 9, 12, & 18

Milijana Nikolic

Amneris

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Amneris, Aida

Hometown: Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Azucena, Il trovatore (Fondazione Petruzzelli and Teatro Verdi di Trieste); Amneris, Aida (Opera Australia, Gold Coast)
Upcoming: Azucena, Il trovatore (Tokyo, Bunka-Kaikan); Amneris, Aida (Opera Australia, Sydney); Carmen, Carmen (West Australian Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

Milijana Nikolic

Amneris

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 13, 16, & 19

Elena Gabouri

Amneris

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Azucena, Il trovatore

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut: Amneris, Aida ('18)
Recently: Amneris, Aida (Opera Australia and Arena di Verona); Amneris, Aida (Arena di Verona); Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Seoul Opera Center); Azucena, Il trovatore (Opéra de Lille)

Last updated: October 2018

Elena Gabouri

Amneris

Seattle Opera Debut
May 6, 9, 12, & 18

Brian Jagde

Radamès

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Radamès, Aida

Hometown: Plainview, NY
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The Stranger, Das Wunder der Heliane (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Calaf, Turandot (San Francisco Opera); Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur (Royal Opera Covent Garden)
Upcoming: Cavaradossi, Tosca (San Carlo Opera Festival, San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

 

Brian Jagde

Radamès

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 11, 13, 16, & 19

David Pomeroy

Radamès

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Radamès, Aida

Hometown: Newfoundland, Canada
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Florestan, Fidelio (Opera de Bellas Artes); Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (Manitoba Opera); Tannhäuser, Tannhäuser (Oper Köln)
Upcoming: Don Jose, Carmen (Bregenzer Festspiele); Peter Grimes, Peter Grimaes (Vancouver Symphony); Calaf, Turandot (New Orleans Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

David Pomeroy

Radamès

Seattle Opera Debut
May 6, 9, 12, & 18

Gordon Hawkins

Amonasro

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Amonasro, Aida

Hometown: Washington, DC
Seattle Opera Debut: Amonasro, Aida (’92) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Nabucco, Nabucco (’15); Porgy, Porgy and Bess (’11); Count di Luna, Il trovatore (’10); Donner/Gunther, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09) 
Recently:Scarpia, Tosca (Arizona Opera); Amonasro, Aida (Washington National Opera); Alberich, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Washington National Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

Gordon Hawkins

Amonasro

May 5, 11, 13, 16, & 19

Alfred Walker

Amonasro

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Porgy, Porgy and Bess

Hometown: New Orleans, LA 
Seattle Opera Debut: Orest, Elektra (’08) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Amonasro, Aida (’18); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Lindorf/Coppélius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14) 
Recently: Orest, Elektra (San Francisco Opera); Josh Gibson, The Summer King, world premiere (Pittsburgh Opera); Titurel, Parsifal (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Jochanaan, Salome (Oper Köln); Thoas, Iphigénie en Tauride (Oper Stuttgart); Speaker, The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: July 2018

Alfred Walker

Amonasro

May 6, 9, 12, & 18

Daniel Sumegi

Ramfis

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Zuniga, Carmen

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Fafner and Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13); Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville (’17) ; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict (’18); Ramfis, Aida (’18)
Recently: Pogner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia); Jokanaan, Salome (Israeli Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Malmö Opera)
Upcoming: Judge Turpin, Sweeney Todd (TEG/Lifelike Touring)

Last updated: April 2019

Daniel Sumegi

Ramfis

May 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19

Clayton Brainerd

Il Re

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Count Monterone, Rigoletto and Benoît/Alcindoro, La bohème

Hometown: Portland, OR
Seattle Opera Debut: Il Re, Aida (’18)
Recently: Soloist, Beethoven Symphony No.9 (West Palm Beach Symphony)
Upcoming: Soloist, Missa Solemnis (Amarillo Symphony and Bellingham Music Festival)

Last Updated: March 2020

Clayton Brainerd

Il Re

Seattle Opera Debut
May 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19

Eric Neuville

Messenger

Hometown: Waupaca, WI

Seattle Opera Debut: Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor (’10) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: First Priest, The Magic Flute (’17); Testo, The Combat (’17); Gastone, La traviata (’17) 
Recently: Young Thompson, Glory Denied (Nashville Opera); Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Madison Opera); John Kipling, A Kipling Passion (Choral Arts NW) 
Upcoming: Bernstein’s Mass (Austin Symphony); Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Portland Chamber Orchestra); Considering Matthew Shepard (Conspirare) 

 

Last updated: May 2018

Eric Neuville

Messenger

May 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19

Marcy Stonikas

High Priestess

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Santuzza (Cav.), Pagliacci & Cavalleria rusticana

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Seattle Opera Debut: Second Lady, The Magic Flute (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Miss Jessel, The Turn of the Screw ('18); High Priestess, Aida ('18); Mother, Hansel and Gretel (’17); Prima Donna/Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); Tosca, Tosca (’15)
Recently: Mother, Hansel and Gretel (San Diego Opera); Chrysothemis, Elektra (Minnesota Opera); Tosca, Tosca (Arizona Opera)

Last updated: December 2019

 

Marcy Stonikas

High Priestess

May 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19

Laura Mead

Principle Dancer