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Verdi's Aida  

Visions and Voices presents the Metropolitan Opera’s HD telecast of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. To help you learn more about Verdi’s masterpiece, Ross Scimeca of the USC Libraries has selected the following resources.
Last Updated: Nov 2, 2009 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Sunday, November 1, 2009 : 1:00pm



Giuseppe Verdi composed twenty-eight operas during his lifetime. Aida is the twenty-sixth, followed by his late masterpieces, Otello and Falstaff. What is unique about Aida is that it is a grand opera, meaning it features extended choruses, ballets, and marches composed in a theatrically spectacular style. Like Don Carlos, which preceded Aida by five years and premiered at the Paris Opera, Verdi brilliantly integrated these spectacular elements with the vocal elements of traditional opera.

Camille du Locle took the plot for his French-language libretto for Aida from the work of Egyptologist Mariette Bey. The libretto was later translated into Italian verse by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Commissioned by the Khedive of Egypt, Aida premiered at the Italian Theatre in Cairo on December 24th, 1871. It was a sensational success, as it was two months later at Milan’s La Scala. The opera reached New York’s Academy of Music on November 26th, 1873. You can find the Italian-language libretto of Aida and an English translation in the Opera Classics Library by clicking on the Databases tab from

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Visions and Voices and the USC Libraries present Explorations, a series of research guides that allow you to build on your experiences at Visions and Voices events.

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