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7 Facts You Should Know About Opera Aida Before Seeing it at the Pyramids this March

If your're planning on catching the Opera for this once-in-a-lifetime performance at Giza Pyramids, here are 7 facts you need know.

If you somehow still haven't found out yet, Verdi's Aida is going to be performed at the Sound and Light theatre this March and everyone is losing their heads over it. It'll be performed on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of March at the Sound of Lights theatre, where there are 1,500 seats available. Tickets are priced between about 2,000 and 9,500 Egyptian pounds. 

For those of you who don't know, Aida is a four-opera written by Italian playwright Giuseppe Verdi in 1871 based in the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. The show follows a pair of star crossed lovers, an Egyptian warrior and an Ethiopian princess at a time of war between the two countries. It features elaborate dances, impressive costumes, and a symphony that you have most definitely heard (even if you have no idea what Aida is).

In honour of Aida being performed this year at the pyramids (which is the perfect backdrop to be honest), we've compiled a list of interesting facts about the show that you may not have heard before. 

1. Isma'il Pasha, the ruler of Egypt at the time, commissioned Verdi to write Aida to be performed on the opening night of the Khedivial Opera House (the one that burned down) in February of 1871, but Verdi failed to deliver in time due to scenery and costumes being stuck in Paris. It was then performed on Christmas Eve of the same year.

2. The origins of the story of Aida are actually unclear. Most people think that Verdi received an outline of the story from Auguste Mariette, the founder of the Egyptian ministry of Antiquities and the Cairo Museum, however, there have been Verdi biographers, most famously Mary Jane Philips-Matz, have argued that the scenario was actually written by Italian opera composer Temistocole Solera. 

3. Verdi originally wrote Aida in French and was later translated to Italian.

4. The costume, accessories and set for the premier were designed and executed in France by designer Auguste Mariette who, along with his works for Aida, was trapped in Paris during the Siege of Paris.

5. Verdi didn't attend the premiere in Cairo in 1871 because he was dissatisfied that no member of the general public were invited, and considered the Italian premiere of the opera in February of 1872 to be its real premiere.

6. By 2007 the Metropolitan Opera in New York had given more than 1,100 performances of Aida, making it the second most frequently performed work by the company.

7. The Hollywood adaptation of Aida in 1953 has a rating of 5.5 on IMDB and is the first opera to be filmed in colour. 

Head over to the show's website for more information on the march performances and ticket information.


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