Last week, my Grandma and I went to the opera for the first time. I have wanted to watch an opera for so long and it’s one of the things I wanted to do before I’m 40. We went to watch Aida at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
The audience was a mix of ages and dress was also a mix of casual and dressy. I expected everyone to be quite formal but some looked like they could have gone for a hike!
The latest in Opera North’s series of groundbreaking concert stagings of large-scale operas, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I really enjoyed myself. Watching the performances and listening to the incredible singing and musicians. The opera is sung in Italian but there was a TV screen at each side of the stage with English subtitles.
Egypt is at war with Ethiopia. Aida, daughter of the Ethiopian king, has been captured by the Egyptians. Secretly, she loves an Egyptian general, Radamès, and he returns her love. When Radamès is selected to lead a renewed assault against the enemy, Aida is forced to choose between betraying her country and betraying her heart.
Although it is best known for the grandiosity and imperialism of set pieces like the famous Triumphal March, at Aida’s heart is a web of intimate personal relationships between people caught in the crossfire of international conflict, ending with a profound prayer for peace. Its leading characters are as conflicted as the war-torn world they inhabit, and for the doomed lovers, Radamès and Aida, Verdi reserved some of his finest arias – his ‘Celeste Aida’ and her ‘O patria mia’.
It was a great experience and I would love to watch another opera in the future