1
of

Aida

Friday October 18, 2013 - Saturday November 9, 2013

Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center  



Overview

BRILLIANT. MAJESTIC. VIBRANT.

Join us for a dazzling seven-opera season! With international stars, an American premiere, and impeccable performances, you'll see what makes HGO an important voice on the world's musical stage. And you can see it all for as little as $15 a ticket!

*All discounts may not apply to balcony seating. Please call our Customer Care Center (713-228-6737) for details.


Guiseppe Verdi's Aida
Sung in Italian with projected English translation

October 18, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. | October 20, 2013 - 2:00 p.m. | October 26, 2013 -  7:30 p.m.
October 29, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. | November 1, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. | November 3, 2013 - 2:00 p.m.
November 9, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. 

Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved to Amneris, the princess of Egypt, has fallen in love with the warrior Radames. As he rides into battle, Aida is torn between her love for him, allegiance to her country, and loyalty to her family. Radames dreams that if he returns triumphant, he will free Aida and marry her. But Amneris longs for Radames' affections, too. Romance and hope turn to crushing tragedy as the story unfolds.

"[Liudmyla Monastyrska] is gifted with a luscious round soprano that maintains its glow even in the softest notes." - New York Times 

"A real spinto tenor, [Riccardo Massì's] rich full tone is darkly covered in the middle provoking concern for his upper register. Yet the high phrases rang out smoothly and easily with no awkward lurching or strain whatsoever." - Opera Brittania  

"Dolora Zajick remains a force of mezzo-soprano nature." - Financial Times (London)

Cast
Aida - Liudmyla Monastyrska
Radames - Riccardo Massì
Radames - Issachah Savage (Oct. 20 and Nov. 1)
Amneris - Dolora Zajick
Amonasro - Scott Hendricks
Ramfis - Ain Anger 
King - Robert Gleadow
Priestess - Natalya Romaniw
Messenger - Kevin Ray

Creative Team
Conductor - Antonino Fogliani
Production - Jo Davies
Director - José Maria Condemi
Set and Costume Designer - Zandra Rhodes
Lighting Designer - Michael James Clark
Choreographer - Dominic Walsh 
Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus 
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater   

Guarantor
The Methodist Hospital System
Margaret Alkek Williams  

Grand Underwriter
Bobbie-Vee and Jerry Cooney    

Co-production with English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Norwegian National Opera  
Photo by Cory Weaver    

Synopsis

Ancient Egypt during the time of the pharaohs

ACT I

In the royal palace of the pharaoh, a young captain of the guard, Radames, learns from the High Priest Ramfis that Ethiopia is threatening the Nile valley. Radames secretly
hopes to be chosen as commander of the army, envisioning a glorious victory that would enable him to free his beloved Aida, the Ethiopian slave of the pharaoh's daughter, Amneris. Unfortunately, Amneris is also in love with Radames; when she sees him with Aida, she senses their love.

A royal messenger reports that the Ethiopians, led by King Amonasro, are indeed marching on Thebes. Radames is appointed commander of the Egyptian army. Hearing this news, Aida is torn between her duty to her country and her love for Radames, since, unbeknown to the Egyptians, she is Amonasro's daughter. Radames is taken to the Temple of Vulcan, where the priests ask the god Ptah to bless the sacred sword that Radames will take into battle to defend Egypt's soil.

ACT II

The Egyptians have won the war. Amneris and her attendant ladies prepare for Radames' triumphal return. When Aida approaches, Amneris dismisses her attendants and tests her slave, telling her that Radames was killed in the battle. Aida's reaction reveals her love for Radames, and her joy when Amneris admits that Radames is still alive only confirms Amneris's suspicions. Threatening her rival, Amneris departs for the festivities.

Radames and the Egyptian army parade in triumph through the city, bringing with them the conquered Ethiopians. Among them is Aida's father, King Amonasro, who quickly warns Aida not to betray his rank. He pleads for his fellow captives' lives, but Ramfis and the priests demand their death. Radames, however, requests their freedom as his reward. The pharaoh releases all but Amonasro and Aida; he then presents Radames with Amneris's hand in marriage, leaving Aida in despair.

INTERMISSION

ACT III

On a moonlit bank of the Nile, Amneris enters the Temple of Isis for a wedding vigil. Aida waits in secret for Radames, but her father appears first, explaining that the Ethiopians have re-armed and will continue to fight. He extracts a promise from Aida to ask Radames where the Egyptian army plans to enter Ethiopia. Radames arrives; Aida slowly convinces him to prove his love by running away with her, and then tricks him into revealing the route of the Egyptian army. At that moment, Amonasro steps out of hiding, identifying himself as Aida's father and the king of Ethiopia. Amneris comes out of the temple and denounces Radames as a traitor. Amonasro attacks Amneris, but Radames intervenes, allowing Aida and her father to escape, while he surrenders himself to Ramfis.

ACT IV

Amneris is torn between her love for Radames and rage at his betrayal. She sends for him and offers to save him if he will renounce Aida. He refuses, and in a fury, she sends him to trial, where he is quickly convicted. Overcome with remorse, Amneris curses the priests who condemn him to death.

Buried alive in a crypt beneath the temple, Radames thinks of Aida, hoping she is safe and well. She, however, has secretly come back to Egypt and hidden in the tomb to await the outcome of his trial. Weak and faint with hunger, she emerges from the shadows to join him: Radames tries desperately to save her, but in vain. The lovers prepare to be united in eternity as Amneris, outside the tomb, alone and desperate, prays for Radames' soul and for peace.

Cast/Creative Team

Creative Team

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Jo Davies
Original Director

José Maria Condemi
Director

Zandra Rhodes
Set and Costume Designer

Michael James Clark
Lighting Designer

Dominic Walsh
Choreographer

Leraldo Anzaldua
Fight Director

Richard Bado***
Chorus Master

Houston Grand Opera
Orchestra
Chorus


* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist

Support HGO

Donate Now Button on Support HGO 

To give by phone or for more information, contact Rebecca Kier at 713-546-0252 or rkier@houstongrandopera.org.

To submit your gift by mail, please use this form.

Loyal donors are behind each performance at Houston Grand Opera.
We can’t do it without you; please consider making a gift today!

Donate Now  

BRILLIANT. MAJESTIC. VIBRANT.

Join us for a dazzling seven-opera season! With international stars, an American premiere, and impeccable performances, you'll see what makes HGO an important voice on the world's musical stage. And you can see it all for as little as $15 a ticket!

*All discounts may not apply to balcony seating. Please call our Customer Care Center (713-228-6737) for details.


Guiseppe Verdi's Aida
Sung in Italian with projected English translation

October 18, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. | October 20, 2013 - 2:00 p.m. | October 26, 2013 -  7:30 p.m.
October 29, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. | November 1, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. | November 3, 2013 - 2:00 p.m.
November 9, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. 

Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved to Amneris, the princess of Egypt, has fallen in love with the warrior Radames. As he rides into battle, Aida is torn between her love for him, allegiance to her country, and loyalty to her family. Radames dreams that if he returns triumphant, he will free Aida and marry her. But Amneris longs for Radames' affections, too. Romance and hope turn to crushing tragedy as the story unfolds.

"[Liudmyla Monastyrska] is gifted with a luscious round soprano that maintains its glow even in the softest notes." - New York Times 

"A real spinto tenor, [Riccardo Massì's] rich full tone is darkly covered in the middle provoking concern for his upper register. Yet the high phrases rang out smoothly and easily with no awkward lurching or strain whatsoever." - Opera Brittania  

"Dolora Zajick remains a force of mezzo-soprano nature." - Financial Times (London)

Cast
Aida - Liudmyla Monastyrska
Radames - Riccardo Massì
Radames - Issachah Savage (Oct. 20 and Nov. 1)
Amneris - Dolora Zajick
Amonasro - Scott Hendricks
Ramfis - Ain Anger 
King - Robert Gleadow
Priestess - Natalya Romaniw
Messenger - Kevin Ray

Creative Team
Conductor - Antonino Fogliani
Production - Jo Davies
Director - José Maria Condemi
Set and Costume Designer - Zandra Rhodes
Lighting Designer - Michael James Clark
Choreographer - Dominic Walsh 
Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus 
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater   

Guarantor
The Methodist Hospital System
Margaret Alkek Williams  

Grand Underwriter
Bobbie-Vee and Jerry Cooney    

Co-production with English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Norwegian National Opera  
Photo by Cory Weaver    

Ancient Egypt during the time of the pharaohs

ACT I

In the royal palace of the pharaoh, a young captain of the guard, Radames, learns from the High Priest Ramfis that Ethiopia is threatening the Nile valley. Radames secretly
hopes to be chosen as commander of the army, envisioning a glorious victory that would enable him to free his beloved Aida, the Ethiopian slave of the pharaoh's daughter, Amneris. Unfortunately, Amneris is also in love with Radames; when she sees him with Aida, she senses their love.

A royal messenger reports that the Ethiopians, led by King Amonasro, are indeed marching on Thebes. Radames is appointed commander of the Egyptian army. Hearing this news, Aida is torn between her duty to her country and her love for Radames, since, unbeknown to the Egyptians, she is Amonasro's daughter. Radames is taken to the Temple of Vulcan, where the priests ask the god Ptah to bless the sacred sword that Radames will take into battle to defend Egypt's soil.

ACT II

The Egyptians have won the war. Amneris and her attendant ladies prepare for Radames' triumphal return. When Aida approaches, Amneris dismisses her attendants and tests her slave, telling her that Radames was killed in the battle. Aida's reaction reveals her love for Radames, and her joy when Amneris admits that Radames is still alive only confirms Amneris's suspicions. Threatening her rival, Amneris departs for the festivities.

Radames and the Egyptian army parade in triumph through the city, bringing with them the conquered Ethiopians. Among them is Aida's father, King Amonasro, who quickly warns Aida not to betray his rank. He pleads for his fellow captives' lives, but Ramfis and the priests demand their death. Radames, however, requests their freedom as his reward. The pharaoh releases all but Amonasro and Aida; he then presents Radames with Amneris's hand in marriage, leaving Aida in despair.

INTERMISSION

ACT III

On a moonlit bank of the Nile, Amneris enters the Temple of Isis for a wedding vigil. Aida waits in secret for Radames, but her father appears first, explaining that the Ethiopians have re-armed and will continue to fight. He extracts a promise from Aida to ask Radames where the Egyptian army plans to enter Ethiopia. Radames arrives; Aida slowly convinces him to prove his love by running away with her, and then tricks him into revealing the route of the Egyptian army. At that moment, Amonasro steps out of hiding, identifying himself as Aida's father and the king of Ethiopia. Amneris comes out of the temple and denounces Radames as a traitor. Amonasro attacks Amneris, but Radames intervenes, allowing Aida and her father to escape, while he surrenders himself to Ramfis.

ACT IV

Amneris is torn between her love for Radames and rage at his betrayal. She sends for him and offers to save him if he will renounce Aida. He refuses, and in a fury, she sends him to trial, where he is quickly convicted. Overcome with remorse, Amneris curses the priests who condemn him to death.

Buried alive in a crypt beneath the temple, Radames thinks of Aida, hoping she is safe and well. She, however, has secretly come back to Egypt and hidden in the tomb to await the outcome of his trial. Weak and faint with hunger, she emerges from the shadows to join him: Radames tries desperately to save her, but in vain. The lovers prepare to be united in eternity as Amneris, outside the tomb, alone and desperate, prays for Radames' soul and for peace.

Creative Team

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Jo Davies
Original Director

José Maria Condemi
Director

Zandra Rhodes
Set and Costume Designer

Michael James Clark
Lighting Designer

Dominic Walsh
Choreographer

Leraldo Anzaldua
Fight Director

Richard Bado***
Chorus Master

Houston Grand Opera
Orchestra
Chorus


* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist

Donate Now Button on Support HGO 

To give by phone or for more information, contact Rebecca Kier at 713-546-0252 or rkier@houstongrandopera.org.

To submit your gift by mail, please use this form.

Loyal donors are behind each performance at Houston Grand Opera.
We can’t do it without you; please consider making a gift today!

Donate Now  


You can purchase tickets online until 4 p.m. CST on the day of the performance (Noon CST on the day of a matinee performance). Please call our Customer Care Center at 713-228-OPERA (6737) or 800-62-OPERA (800-626-7372) if you have questions or have other ticketing needs.

How Many Seats? Groups of ten or more receive discounts and special seating! Please call 713-546-0248 or e-mail groups@HoustonGrandOpera.org to learn more about Group Sales.

All sales are final. Latecomers will be seated during an intermission. The use of cameras or recording devices is strictly forbidden at HGO performances. Dates, casting and programs are subject to change without notice.

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