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An Egyptian Spectacular

January 09, 2008

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    January 09, 2008
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    Opera Carolina News

An Egyptian Spectacular

Charlotte, NC – Don't miss Opera Carolina's first production of the New Year – Verdi's spectacular masterpiece, Aida. Bound by captivity and tortured by love, Aida, falls in love with her captor, Radames, an Egyptian commander torn between his love for her and his duty to his pharaoh. As they fight for their forbidden love, they finally find freedom only in paying the ultimate price. After a ten-year absence from Opera Carolina's stage, Aida is making an impressive comeback featuring a menagerie of live animals; a huge ensemble cast, and internationally acclaimed vocal artists.

The Story
In ancient Egypt, Radamès learns that Ethiopia soon may bring war to the Nile valley. The young officer hopes he will be chosen as commander of the army, envisioning triumph so he can free his beloved Aida, an Ethiopian slave of the proud Princess Amneris. Amneris, who herself loves Radamès, senses his feelings for Aida. Radamès is appointed as Egyptian commander and leaves to defend his country. Left alone, Aida is torn between her love for Radamès and for her native Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is defeated and Amneris prepares for Radamès' triumphal entry into Thebes. When Aida approaches, the princess dismisses her other attendants and tries to learn Aida's private thoughts. Her suspicions are confirmed; Aida's love for Radamès is written on her face. Radamès returns to the city and is crowned with a victor's wreath. Captured Ethiopians follow, among them Amonasro, Aida's father, who signals her not to betray his identity as king. Impressed by Amonasro's eloquent plea, Radamès asks as his reward that the prisoners be freed. The King grants Radamès his wish, as well as Amneris' hand in marriage, but keeps Amonasro in custody.

On a moonlit bank of the Nile, Amonasro convinces his daughter to ask Radamès where the Egyptian army plans to invade Ethiopia. When Radamès appears, he tells her everyting, ardent with dreams of their future life together. Just as he reveals the military secret, Amonasro steps out of hiding, and Ramfis, the high priest, and Amneris come forth from the temple. While Aida escapes with her father, Radamès surrenders to the priest as a traitor.

Awaiting trial, Radamès refuses Amneris' offer to save him if he will renounce Aida and marry her. Enraged, Amneris curses the judges. Buried alive in a crypt, Radamès is joined by Aida, who has hidden there to share his fate. The lovers bid farewell to earth as Amneris, above the tomb, prays for peace.

Opera Carolina's Aida
Opera Carolina's production of Aida presents sopranos Susan Patterson, an Alabama-native, and Oksana Krovytska, a native of the Ukraine and recipient of the New York City Opera's "Diva Award," appearing in the title role. Antonio Nagore and Tonio di Paolo will share the role of Radamès. Adding to the operatic spectacle, this production of Aida will also feature an array of wild animals including zebras, camels, snakes, and a watusi! Aida promises to be an opera beyond wildest expectations – an arresting story of love and sacrifice that continues to entertain audiences young and old.

Aida will be performed in the Belk Theater of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center January 31 at 7:30 p.m., February 1 & 2 at 8:00 p.m. & February 3 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at operacarolina.org or by calling the Box Office at 704.372.1000. For season subscriptions, group sales, and other opera events, please visit operacarolina.org.

Aida is sung in Italian with projected English titles. All performances feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Full cast listings and bios are available at: operacarolina.org/operas. To download images of this production please go to: http://www.operacarolina.org/about_media_photos.php. Current images available include: production photos, and artist headshots.

This production is made possible by presenting sponsor Time Warner Cable and supporting sponsor One Charlotte / Portman Holdings. Additional support provided by Corner Cap Investment Counsel, Faison, U.S. Airways, and Blue Restaurant & Bar. Media support provided by The Charlotte Observer, Time Warner Cable, and WCNC-TV.

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.5 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported by the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

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