It's one of the most performed operas in the entire repertoire: a story of a legendary love stronger than death, and a very modern parable about nationalism, belligerence and hatred of the enemy. Giuseppe Verdi's monumental opera Aida is to receive its first ever performance on the Bregenz Floating Stage in the summer of 2009 and 2010. The story of the tragic love between the Ethiopian princess Aidaonce brought to the Nile as a slaveand the Egyptian commander Radames was enthusiastically acclaimed at its premiere in Cairo in 1871. Since then Aida has gone on to become one of the most popular and most performed works in the opera repertoire.
The beautiful Aida and the proud Radames are condemned to deathhe for treachery, she for love. They are to be immured in a temple vault while still alive, a death that could hardly be more pitiless. And yet their end is accompanied by music which reveals nothing of the awful fait that awaits them: for at this moment we hear the final aria "O terra addio, addio valle di pianti ("O Earth, farewellfarewell, vale of tears")so delicate, so pure and so radiant that it would seem that nothing in the world can make this love perish. Aida and Radames are carried off together by death, united for ever in a last embrace.