Monday, April 10, 2017

Aida Is the April 15, 2017, Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Summary: The April 15, 2017, Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast is Aida, a four-act tragic opera by Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.

Meet Me At The Opera @MMATOpera via Twitter tweet of Nov. 26, 2016

Aida, a four-act opera by Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Oct. 10, 1813-Jan. 27, 1901) that clashes civilizations and patriotic duty with a love triangle set on the west bank of the Nile in the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, is the April 15, 2017, Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast.
Italian librettist, poet and writer Antonio Ghislanzoni (Nov. 25, 1824-July 16, 1893) wrote the Italian libretto. A scenario by French Egyptologist François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette (Feb. 11, 1821-Jan. 19, 1881) is usually credited as the source for Ghislanzoni’s libretto.
Aida premiered Dec. 24, 1871, at Khedivial Opera House, also known as Royal Opera House, in Cairo, northeastern Egypt. Four years earlier, on Nov. 1, 1869, the opera house had opened with a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto. The wooden opera house’s design by Italian émigré architect Pietro Avoscani (1816-March 1, 1891) was reminiscent of Teatro alla Scala, in Milan, Lombardy, northwestern Italy, by neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini (July 18, 1734-Feb. 18, 1808). A multi-story concrete car garage now marks the site of Khevidial Opera House, which burned to the ground Oct. 28, 1971.
On Feb. 8, 1872, La Scala hosted the European premiere of Verdi’s Egyptian-themed opera. Whereas Auguste Mariette controlled the staging of the Cairo premiere, the composer was closely involved in La Scala’s production. Also unlike the Cairo premiere, Verdi attended the La Scala premiere.
The Saturday matinee broadcast of Aida begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (4:30 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time). The estimated run time for the performance is about 3 hours 45 minutes.
The opera, sung in the original Italian, comprises four acts and two intermissions.
Act I is timed for 41 minutes. A 35-minute intermission succeeds Act I.
Act II is timed for 43 minutes. A 36-minute intermission follows Act II.
Acts III and IV are timed for 70 minutes. The opera ends with Act IV’s final notes.
Daniele Rustioni conducts the Saturday matinee broadcast performance of Aida. His birthplace is Milan, Italy. The Italian conductor makes his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting the spring performances of Aida for the 2016-2017 season.
Daniele Rustioni shares the role of conductor with Marco Armiliato this season. He was born in Genoa, Liguria, northwestern Italy. The Genoese conductor debuted in the Metropolitan Opera’s 1998 production of La Bohème by Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (Dec. 22, 1858-Nov. 29, 1924).
Krassimira Stoyanova appears in the title role of the conflicted Ethiopian princess for the Saturday matinee broadcast performance. Her birthplace is Veliko Tarnovo, north central Bulgaria. The Bulgarian soprano debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2001 as Violetta Valéry in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Krassimira Stoyanova shares the title role with Liudmyla Monastyrska and Latonia Moore this season. Liudmyla Monastyrska was born in Kiev, north central Ukraine. This season the Ukrainian lirico-spinto (“pushed lyric”) soprano reprises her 2012 debut role as Aida. Liudmyla Monastyrska also appears as Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco during the 2016-2017 season.
Latonia Moore reprises her 2012 debut role as Aida. Her birthplace is Houston, Harris County, southeastern Texas.
Riccardo Massi appears in the Saturday matinee broadcast performance as Radamès, captain of the King of Egypt’s Guard upon whom the opera’s love triangle is centered. He was born in Sarnano, Marche, central Italy. The Italian operatic tenor reprises his 2012 debut role.
Riccardo Massi shares the role of Radamès this season with Marco Berti and Jorge de León. Marco Berti appears in the 2016-2017 season’s late autumn and early winter performances. Jorge de León appears in the season’s spring performances.
Marco Berti’s birthplace is Como, Lombardy, northwestern Italy. The Italian tenor debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2004 as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Jorge de León marks his Metropolitan Opera debut this season as Radamès, who loves and is loved by Aida and who also is loved by Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt. Jorge de León was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, western Canary Islands.
Violeta Urmana appears as Egyptian Princess Amneris for the opera’s Saturday matinee broadcast and spring performances. Her birthplace is Kazlu Rodos, southwestern Lithuania. The Lithuanian mezzo-soprano and soprano debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2001 as Kundry in Parsifal by Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813-Feb. 13, 1883).
Violeta Urmana shares the role of Amneris with Ekaterina Gubanova, who appears in the opera’s late autumn and early winter performances. Her birthplace is Moscow, northwestern Russia. The Russian mezzo-soprano debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2007 as Hélène Bezubenkov in War and Peace by Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (April 23, 1891-March 5, 1953). This season Ekaterina Gubanova also appears as Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
George Gagnidze appears as Aida’s father, Ethiopian King Amonasro, for the opera’s Saturday matinee broadcast and spring performances. He was born in Tbilisi, Central Valley, Republic of Georgia. The Georgian operatic baritone debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2009 in the title role of Verdi’s Rigoletto.
George Gagnidze shares the role of Ethiopian King Amonasro with Mark Delavan. Mark Delavan’s birthplace is Princeton, Mercer County, west central New Jersey. The American operatic bass-baritone reprises his 2001 debut role.
James Morris appears as Egyptian High Priest Ramfis for the opera’s Saturday matinee broadcast and spring performances. He was born in Baltimore, north central Maryland. The American bass-baritone reprises his 1971 debut role. Also this season James Morris appears as Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio.
James Morris shares the role of Ramfis this season with Dmitry Belosselskiy. Dmitry Belosselskiy was born in Pavlograd, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian bass debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 as Zaccaria in Verdi’s Nabucco. Dmitry Belosselskiy also reprises his debut role for this season's production of Nabucco.
Soloman Howard appears as the King of Egypt for the opera’s Saturday matinee broadcast, late autumn, Dec. 2 and spring performances. His birthplace is Washington, D.C. The American bass reprises his 2014 debut role.
Soloman Howard shares the role of the King of Egypt with Morris Robinson this season. Born in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, Morris Robinson debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2002 as the Second Prisoner in Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven (bapt. Dec. 17, 1770-March 26, 1827). This season the American bass opera singer also appears as Sarastro in The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan. 27, 1756-Dec. 5, 1791).
Operabase, an online database, places Giuseppe Verdi as number one in a ranking of 1,281 most popular composers for the five seasons from 2011/2012 to 2015/16. Aida places at 12 in the list of 2,658 most popular operas.
The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016 Repertory Report gives performance statistics through Oct. 31. Aida claims second place, with 1,148 performances, for the period from first performance, Nov. 9, 1900, to last performance, April 20, 2015. The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016-2017 season falls outside the report’s parameters.
The takeaway for Aida as the April 15, 2017, Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast is the emotional and historical appeal of a compelling love triangle that is entangled with a clash of ancient civilizations and a strong current of patriotic duty.

Metropolitan Opera/YouTube: "Aida: 'I sacri nomi di padre, d'amante' -- Liudmyla Monastyrska (Met Opera)"

My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credit:
"Plans tonight in #NewYork? Aida at #MetOpera tonight.": Meet Me At The Opera @MMATOpera via Twitter tweet of Nov. 26, 2016, @

For further information:
"Composers: Composers Ranked by the Number of Performances of Their Operas Over the Five Seasons 2011/2012 to 2015/16." Operabase > Opera Statistics.
Available @
Meet Me At The Opera @MMATOpera. "Plans tonight in #NewYork? Aida at #MetOpera tonight." Twitter. Nov. 26, 2016.
Available @
Metropolitan Opera. “Aida: 'I sacri nomi di padre, d'amante' -- Liudmyla Monastyrska (Met Opera).” YouTube. Sept. 30, 2016.
Available @
“Performances Statistics Through October 31, 2016.” MetOpera Database > The Metropolitan Opera Archives > Repertory Report.
Available @

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