Whether you are a long time aficionado of opera or planning to go for the first time, the Opera Carolina production of Verdi’s “Aida” is sure to please. There are 2 more chances to see it at the Belk Theatre – Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Principals include Othalie Graham as Aida; Mark Rucker from the Metropolitan Opera in New York as her father the Ethiopian king Amonasro, his signature role; and Sun Yu, a celebrated bass baritone from China as the Chief Priest and warmonger. Antonello Palombi hails from the famed opera house LaScala in Italy as Radames.
Audiences will be enveloped into all the spectacular music and scenery that has made it a fabulous aural and visual experience. Composed by Italian Giuseppe Verdi and premiered in Cairo, Egypt in 1871, it has become one of the world’s most beloved operas.
It is a man’s tale and a woman’s tale. Set in ancient Egypt, this is a story of war and love. Egypt and Ethiopia are battling. Aida is a captive, an Ethiopian princess but the Egyptians don't know this. She is royalty, but is bound into slavery, serving the Egyptian princess Amneris. Both women love Radames, a warrior who has vanquished Ethiopia. Radames only loves Aida. Without spoiling the ending, Radames and Aida are together finally, but in the most tragic of circumstances.
Brett Finley, a stage manager, relates the huge numbers of people involved and the cost of putting on such a mammoth production:
There are about 120 people onstage in the production, not counting the orchestra (about 40) and the crew (stage crew, costumes, make-up - about 20). OC (Opera Carolina) staff is about 15. There are 3 stage managers.
I don't know about the facility staff or the front of house staff (ushers etc.)
. . . the expense . . . as of . . . (October 16, 2013) is in the vicinity of $350,000 . . .
Miss Graham and Mr. Rucker will perform live on WDAV 89.9 FM on Wednesday, October 23 at 11 a.m.
Visit the Opera Carolina website for tickets and more information about Verdi’s “Aida.”