Friday, December 24, 2010

139th Anniversary of the "Aida" Premiere

Auguste Mariette (seated, far left) and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (seated, far right) with others during the monarch's visit to the Giza Necropolis at the end of 1871.

Aida
(an Arabic female name meaning "visitor" or "returning") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on December 24, 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.



Verdi's grand opera,
Aida, is sometimes thought to have been commissioned for the celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, but, according to one major critic, Verdi turned down the Khedive's invitation to write an "ode" for the new opera house he was planning to inaugurate as part of the canal opening festivities. The opera house actually opened with a production of Rigoletto. Later in 1869/70, the organizers again approached Verdi (this time with the idea of writing an opera), but he again turned them down. When they warned him that they would ask Charles Gounod instead and then threatened to engage Richard Wagner's services, Verdi began to show considerable interest, and agreements were signed in June 1870.

Teresa Stolz was associated with both Aida and the Requiem (as well as a number of other Verdi roles). The role of Aida was written for her, and although she did not appear in the world premiere in Cairo in 1871, she created Aida in the European premiere in Milan in February 1872. She was also the soprano soloist in the first and many later performances of the Requiem. It was widely believed that she and Verdi had an affair after she left Angelo Mariani, and a Florence newspaper criticised them for this in five strongly worded articles. Whether there is any truth to the accusation may never be known with any certainty. However, after Giuseppina Strepponi's death, Teresa Stolz became a close companion of Verdi until his own death.

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (October 13, 1813 – January 27, 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture. Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.


François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette (February 11, 1821 – January 19, 1881) was a French scholar, archaeologist and Egyptologist, the founder of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. In 1867, he returned to oversee the ancient Egyptian stand at the Exposition Universelle, to a hero's welcome for keeping France pre-eminent in Egyptology. In 1869, at the request of the Khedive, he wrote a brief plot for an opera. The following year this concept, worked into a scenario by Camille du Locle, was proposed to Giuseppe Verdi, who accepted it as a subject for
Aida. For Aida, Mariette and Du Locle oversaw the scenery and costumes, which were inspired by the art of Ancient Egypt. The premiere of Aida was originally scheduled for February 1871, but was delayed until 24 December 1871, due to the siege of Paris at the height of the Franco-Prussian War (which trapped Mariette with the costumes and scenery in Paris). The opera met with great acclaim.

 
Camille du Locle (July 16, 1832 to October 9, 1903) was a French theatre director and a librettist. He was born in Orange, France. From 1862 he served as assistant to his father-in-law, Émile Perrin at the Paris Opéra, moving in 1870 to the Opéra-Comique. He is best remembered for mounting the original production of Bizet's Carmen in 1875. Du Locle was responsible for completing the libretto of Don Carlos after the death of Joseph Mery. He also played a key role in the genesis of Aida in 1869-70. In 1876, a financial dispute arose with Verdi, and Du Locle moved to Capri. He lived in what is called today “La Certosella.”

(References: Wikipedia)

1 comment:

  1. So good topic really i like any post talking about Ancient Egypt but i want to say thing to u Ancient Egypt not that only ... you can see in Ancient Egypt Ra God The Sun God and more , you shall search in Google and Wikipedia about that .... thanks a gain ,,,

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