Aida - Prague State Opera

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To inaugurate the Suez Canal, Ismail Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, commissioned an opera from the composer whose Rigoletto opened the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo in 1869. Giuseppe Verdi dedicated great care to preparing the new work and even visited Egypt so as to have his own idea of the country. (He even had Old Egypt “Aida trumpets” made in Milan.) Yet he only completed the opera after the Suez Canal was opened (17 November 1869) and the premiere took place on 24 December 1871 at the Teatro del’Opera in Cairo. 



The dramatic charge of the story of the Egyptian Princess Aida and the warrior Radames grows out of the inner torment of a woman who has to decide between being loyal to her country or dedicating herself to a man who is one of the oppressors of her nation. The dilemma of choosing between love and duty is also faced by Radames, who ultimately betrays his homeland because of Aida. The current State Opera production was premiered in 1994. The renowned Egyptian painter Hafíz Abdel Farghali gave a genuine Egyptian colour to the sets which, together with Josef Jelínek’s exquisite costumes, contributed to the great success of the performances.


The opera is staged in Italian original version and Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.



Photo: Oldřich Pernica and Dan Jäger


Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 45 minutes, 1 intermission

Program and cast

Conductor: Richard Hein, Andreas Sebastian Weiser

Aida: Adina Aaron, Anda-Louise Bogza, Francesca Tiburzi

Radames: Efe Kişlali, Michal Lehotský, James Lee

Amneris: Veronika Hajnová, Eva Urbanová, Eliška Weissová

Amonasro: Miguelangelo Cavalcanti, Martin Bárta

King of Egypt: Oleg Korotkov, Pavel Švingr

Ramfis: Peter Mikuláš, Zdeněk Plech, Jiří Sulženko

Messenger: Václav Lemberk, Václav Sibera

Priestess: Hana Jonášová


Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni
Stage director: Petar Selem
Sets: Hafiz Abdel Farghali
Costumes: Josef Jelínek
Chorus master: Adolf Melichar
Choreography: Otto Šanda


The State Opera Chorus and Orchestra

Prague State Opera

The State Opera today

 

The State Opera (formerly the State Opera Prague, between 1948 and 1992 the Smetana Theatre, and originally the New German Theatre) has been a part of the National Theatre since 2012. The Opera and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the State Opera.

 

History

 

The Prague State Opera resides in the building which on January 5, 1888 was opened as a Prague German stage with the performance of Wagner’s opera, The Mastersingers of Nürnberg. In the 19th century, Prague Germans performed in the Estate’s Theater in alternation with a Czech company. Desire for their own theater led to negotiations in 1883 for the construction of a new theater building for the German Theater Association. Over the next three years, a blueprint was drawn up and handed over to the Vienna atelier of Fellner and Hellmer. Also sharing in the design was the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller took part in the construction. Financing came from private collections. With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo decoration, this theater building is among the most beautiful in Europe.

 

Access:

 

By car

On Wilsonova street, from the left lane close to the State Opera building take the slip road to the Slovan above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.

 

By tram

 

By daytime tram No. 11 to the stop “Muzeum”, through the underpass beneath Legerova street in the direction of the NationalMuseum, at the crossroads turn right along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

 

By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14 and 24 or night trams Nos. 51, 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Václavské náměstí”, then by foot uphill on the left side of the Wenceslas Square to the traffic lights across Wilsonova and Vinohradská streets. Then turn left along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

 

By metro

To the “Muzeum” station, lines A and C (green and red), and then by foot along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

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