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The essence of Grand Opera first performed in Cairo in 1871. Set in Egypt at the time of the pharoes. A captain of guard (Radames) is in love with Aida, an Ethiopian slave girl - who happens also to be the daughter of the king of Ethiopia. Her mistress, Amneris, is also in love with Radames. When the Ethiopians invade Radames is chosen to lead the army. When they return victorious Radames asks for all the Ethiopian slaves to be released - except Aida and her father who persuades her to trick Radames into revealing the plans of the Egyptian army - but he suggests that they all run away to Ethiopia together. When Radames is accused of treason he gives himself up to let Aida and her father escape but is condemned to be improisoned alive. As the last stones are put in place Aida appears and joins him in the tomb so that they might die together.
Puccini's most enduring opera. The story of the love of the poor poet Rodolfo for the consumptive seamstress Mimi. Set in the Latin Quarter of Paris the course of their love is constantly threatened by Rodolfo's jealousy and Mimi's illness. The painter Marcello and the provocative Musetta are the other main characters. This is where 'your tiny hand is frozen' comes from and the last few bars, as Rodolfo realises Mimi is dead, are some of opera's most moving moments.
Amongst the most popular of Verdi's operas, La traviata is the work of a master of the musical drama. Its perfumed arias and soaring choruses vividly depict the ravishingly decadent but glamorous world of Parisian high society as the background to a heart rending story of romantic happiness destroyed. Original book called La Dame aux Camelias.
An American naval officer (Pinkerton) 'acquires' a 15 year old Geisha wife during a stay in Japan - but has no intention of staying with her. After a while he returns to the USA and marries his fiancee. Meanwhile, Butterfly waits for him for three years, cut off from her family, religion and culture by being an American wife. And she is now a mother. When he finally returns she is overjoyed, but he brings with him his new wife. Story originally published in a magazine.
Bizarre and spellbinding. The Magic Flute features two love stories, a serpent, a Queen, a High Priest and a comedian, whose intrigues unfold to the beauty of Mozart's most popular opera score and Schikaneder's witty dialogue
Set in the 6th Century BC in Jerusalem and Babylon. Zacharias the high priest, enforces his people to stand up for their rights against Nabucco. His son Ishmael and Fenena, the daughter of Nabuco, have a secret love affair. Abigail who is an illegitimate daughter of the ruler hears of the liaison and swears she will take revenge. Will she accomplish her goal or will love reign.
Rigoletto, the hunchbacked court jester wants revenge. His beloved daughter, Gilda, has been abducted and seduced by the Duke and he hires a hit-man to assassinate him. Tragedy prevails in Verdi's masterpiece of love, lust and betrayal. Based on Hugo's Le roi s'amuse. First performed at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851
Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Some scenes contain nudity.