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Seattle Opera.

Aida

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May 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19, 2018

Verdi’s epic tale of star-crossed lovers.

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Overview

By Giuseppe Verdi

"A knockout! A visual and auditory sensation." –broadwayworld.com

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.

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

Act I
The goddess Isis has chosen a general to lead the Egyptians against the Ethiopians. Ramfis, the High Priest, is on his way to inform the Egyptian King of the goddess’s choice. Radames hopes to be chosen and, envisioning a glorious victory, expresses his secret affection for Aida, a captured Ethiopian woman. Princess Amneris, who loves Radames, notices that he is strongly affected by Aida. Amneris is overcome with jealousy. Accompanied by his ministers, the King enters. A messenger brings news of the Ethiopian invasion. Radames is announced as the chosen commander to lead the Egyptians against the enemy. The crowd expresses their hopes 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 father and country and her love for Radames, she asks the gods for strength. In the Temple, a solemn ceremony is held to prepare Radames for battle. He is presented with the sacred sword of Egypt.

Act II
The Egyptian troops led by Radames 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 Radames; furious, she tells Aida to learn her place and give up all hope of winning Radames away from her. The people celebrate the return of the victorious army. Radames asks that the Ethiopian prisoners be brought forth; among them, Aida recognizes her father. Hiding his true identity, King Amonasro of Ethiopia pleads for the lives of his people. The Egyptian King accedes to Radames’s wish that the prisoners be set free. Ramfis, warning of the consequences, succeeds in having Aida and her father retained as hostages. In token of Egypt’s gratitude, the King awards Radames the hand of Amneris.

Act III
To prepare for her wedding to Radames, Amneris retires to the Temple of Isis to worship with Ramfis. Outside the Temple, Aida waits for Radames. Having given up on her own happiness, she recalls her childhood in the valleys of Ethiopia. Amonasro joins her and raises her hopes for a happy life at the side of her beloved. The Ethiopian captives who were freed have banded together and once again ready themselves to attack Egypt. Hoping to exploit Aida’s love for Radames, Amonasro demands she find out from Radames the name of the route the Egyptian armies will take. Amonasro conceals himself nearby, where he can overhear the plan. Radames 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 persuades him to flee the country with her. As they start to leave, Aida asks which route the Egyptian troops will take. Radames answers her, whereupon Amonasro reveals himself and Radames realizes he has blurted out an important military secret. Realizing they have been overheard by Ramfis and Amneris as they leave the Temple, Amonasro and Aida flee. Radames surrenders to the High Priest, ready to accept the consequences of his betrayal.

Act IV
Torn between love and hatred for Radames, Amneris at last resolves to save him. She urges him to defend himself, but he refuses. The priests assemble and three times allow Radames 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, Radames 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 to Isis for peace.

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Cast

Leah Crocetto

Aida

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Leonora, Il trovatore

Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Leonora, Il trovatore (Oper Frankfurt); Tosca, Tosca (Pittsburgh Opera); Liù, Turandot (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: Elisabetta, Don Carlo, and Soloist Verdi’s Requiem (Washington National Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Leah Crocetto

Aida

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

Alexandra LoBianco

Aida

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida, Aida

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Seattle Opera Debut: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (’14)
Recently: Tosca, Tosca (Minnesota Opera)
Upcoming: Turandot, Turandot (Des Moines Metro Opera); Miss Jessel, The Turn of the Screw (The Dallas Opera)

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: Carmen, Carmen (Opera Australia); Amneris, Aida (National Theatre Belgrade); Giovanna Seymour, Anna Bolena (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Pantasilea, Bomarzo (Teatro Real de Madrid); Requiem (Opera Australia)

Milijana Nikolic

Amneris

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

Elena Gabouri

Amneris

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Amneris, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Azucena, Il trovatore

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Amneris, Aida (Greek National Opera); Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Seoul Opera Center); Azucena, Il trovatore (Lille National Opera)
Upcoming: Amneris, Aida (Sydney Opera House and Arena di Verona); Soloist, Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky (Lille National Orchestra)

Last updated: December 2017

Elena Gabouri

Amneris

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

Brian Jagde

Radames

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Radames, Aida

Hometown: Plainview, NY

Seattle Opera Debut

Recently: Don José, Carmen (Bayerische Staatsoper); Radames, Aida (San Francisco Opera); Don José, Carmen (Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Upcoming: Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (Washington National Opera); Cavaradossi, Tosca (Oper Stuttgart)

Brian Jagde

Radames

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

David Pomeroy

Radames

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Radames, Aida

Hometown: St. John’s, Canada
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Paul, Die tote Stadt (Frankfurt Opera); Don José, Carmen (Canadian Opera Company); Calaf, Turandot (Edmonton Opera)
Upcoming: Calaf, Turandot (Calgary Opera); Florestan, Fidelio (Cologne Opera)

David Pomeroy

Radames

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 (Cincinnati Opera); Alberich, The Ring Cycle (Washington National Opera); Porgy, Porgy and Bess (Toledo Opera)
Upcoming: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Deutsche Oper am Rhein); Tonio, Pagliacci (Arizona Musicfest); Amonasro, Aida (Washington National Opera)

Gordon Hawkins

Amonasro

May 5, 11, 13, 16, & 19

Alfred Walker

Amonasro

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Amonasro, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Porgy, Porgy and Bess

Hometown: New Orleans, LA 
Seattle Opera Debut: Orest, Elektra (’08) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: 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); Pizarro, Fidelio (Houston Symphony)
Upcoming: Titurel, Parsifal; (Metropolitan Opera); Méphistophélès, Faust; (Portland Opera); Speaker, The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

 

Alfred Walker

Amonasro

May 6, 9, 12, & 18

Daniel Sumegi

Ramfis

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: The Bonze, Madame Butterfly; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict; Ramfis, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Zuniga, Carmen

 

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07) 

Previously at Seattle Opera: Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville (’17); The Bonze, Madame Butterfly (’17); Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Fafner/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13)

 Recently: Fasolt/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia); Johnny Iselin, The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera); Walter, Luisa Miller (San Francisco Opera) 
Upcoming:  Ramfis, Aida (Seattle Opera); Pogner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia); Hunding, Die Walküre, Act One (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

 

Last updated: February 2018

Daniel Sumegi

Ramfis

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

Clayton Brainerd

Il Re

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Il Re, Aida

Hometown: Portland, OR
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Soloist, Verdi’s Requiem (Utah Festival Opera and Defiant Requiem); Soloist, Bach’s St. John Passion (Orchestra Seattle)
Upcoming: Soloist, Verdi’s Requiem (Kirkland Choral Society); Soloist, Britten’s War Requiem (Lake Union Civic Orchestra)

Last updated: August 2017

Clayton Brainerd

Il Re

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

Eric Neuville

Messenger

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: A Nobleman, Count Ory; Gastone, La traviata; Testo, The Combat; and First Priest, The Magic Flute
At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Messenger, Aida

Hometown: Waupaca, WI
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2009/10, 2010/11
Seattle Opera Debut: Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor (’10) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Testo, The Combat (’17); Gastone, La traviata (’17); A Nobleman, Count Ory (’16)
Recently: Young Thompson, Glory Denied (Nashville Opera); Mozart's Requiem (Seattle Symphony); Kipling Passion, world premiere (Choral Arts NW)
Upcoming: Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Madison Opera); Bernstein’s Mass (Austin Symphony); Messenger, Aida (Seattle Opera)

Last updated: April 2017

Eric Neuville

Messenger

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

Cast

Creative Team

Francesca Zambello

Original Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Porgy and Bess

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Faust (’87)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Florencia en el Amazonas (’05,’98); Billy Budd (’01); Tristan und Isolde (’98)
General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival, Artistic Director of The Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center
Recently: Aida (Washington National Opera); La ciociara (Teatro Lirico di Cagliari); Cyrano de Bergerac (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Candide (Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera); The Ring Cycle (San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Francesca Zambello

Original Stage Director

E. Loren Meeker

Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: Ashland, MA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Chicago); The Daughter of the Regiment (Atlanta Opera); La pietra del paragone (Wolf Trap Opera)
Upcoming: La bohème (Opera San Antonio); The Cunning Little Vixen (Glimmerglass Festival)

Last updated: November 2017

E. Loren Meeker

Stage Director

Seattle Opera Debut

John Fiore

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: La bohème (’91)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Tosca (’93)
Hometown: New York, NY
Recently: The Flying Dutchman (Finnish National Opera); Nabucco (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma); Falstaff (Grand Théâtre de Geneve)
Upcoming: Otello (Sachsische Staatsoper, Dresden, and Trondheim Symfoniorkester); Norma (Grand Théâtre de Geneve)

John Fiore

Conductor

RETNA

Artistic Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Seattle Opera Debut
RETNA (Marquis Duriel Lewis) was born in 1979 in Los Angeles. At age 15, he began painting on posted fashion advertisements and, from there, led one of the largest and most innovative art collectives in the city. His work has exhibited at institutions and galleries in Los Angeles (including the façade of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s Grand Avenue location for their 2013 Gala celebrating the exhibition Art in the Streets), Miami, London, New York (including the public exhibition space of the Houston-Bowery Wall), and Hong Kong. RETNA has created exclusive collaborations with brands such as VistaJet, Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

RETNA

Artistic Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Michael Yeargan

Set Design

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Eugene Onegin (’86)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Vanessa (’99); Mourning Becomes Electra (’03); Aida (’08)
Recently: Romeo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera); Aida (San Francisco Opera); Der Ring des Nibelungen (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Rigoletto (San Francisco Opera); La traviata (Opera Australia); The Barber of Seville (Metropolitan Opera)

Michael Yeargan

Set Design

Anita Yavich

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: Hong Kong
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Aida (San Francisco Opera); The Legend of Georgia McBride (New York Class Company); Venus in Fur (Broadway)
Upcoming: Cyrano de Bergerac (Metropolitan Opera); Madame Butterfly (Dallas Opera)

Anita Yavich

Costume Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Mark McCullough

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Porgy and Bess

Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Seattle Opera Debut: The Elixir of Love (’98)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Norma (’03)
Recently: La ciociara (Teatro Lirico di Cagliari); La traviata (Bolshoi Theatre); Nabucco (LA Opera)
Upcoming: West Side Story (Houston Grand Opera); Candide (LA Opera); The Ring Cycle (San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Mark McCullough

Lighting Designer

Jessica Lang

Choreographer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Aida

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:
Her Notes (American Ballet Theatre); Wink (Birmingham Royal Ballet); Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (Glimmerglass Festival)
Upcoming: Her Door to the Sky (Pacific Northwest Ballet); World Premiere (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival)

Last updated: January 2017

Jessica Lang

Choreographer

Seattle Opera Debut

Creative Team

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Production Sponsors

Lenore M. Hanauer
C.E. Stuart Charitable Trust
Additional Support from: 4Culture

Photos: San Francisco Opera, Aida, 2016 © Cory Weaver