Aida: Verdi’s Escape Route to Paris

By May 4, 2010Art, Travel

This Egyptian opera features dancing slaves, chanting priests, cheering Egyptian solders, an assortment of royal functionaries, all gathered neared the Nile and in the Pharoah’s palace. Aida was created by Verdi – a man who did not rest in his pursuit to make the perfect opera. He became so involved with his opera that every production, and every singer, was in fact gathered and run just by himself. Aida was created mainly for one reason – for Verdi to get back to Paris, his home town. Although Verdi never anticipated Aida to make such an impact, his goal to get back to Paris was put off for many years. He did write to an old friend mentioning, “ … that my presence in Paris is absolutely necessary.  If I could get to Paris this summer, my goal will have been attained.”

The opening of the opera was actually held in Cairo, but many of the costumes and sets where in France for reviews. Getting them back to Cairo was difficult due to the Franco-Prussian War starting in the midst of Verdi’s production. Therefore the performance was delayed in Cairo for nearly a year and around 1871, the performance took place in Italy instead. It was met with such wild enthusiasm that everyone in Europe at the time seemed to have the need to see it. With all of this Verdi did make it back to Paris, but only years later with much success.

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