Mary D. Fisher Theatre is the home for the opera simulcast and encore events
Sedona AZ (September 27, 2018) – The Mary D. Fisher Theatre is honored to continue to be the home for the Met Live Opera programs for the 2018-2019 season, presented by the Sedona International Film Festival. The season will officially kick off with Giuseppe Verde’s “Aida” on Saturday, Oct. 6. There will be two shows that day: 10 a.m. (live simulcast) and 4 p.m. (encore).
Plan to come early as Thomas Cleman will lead a pre-opera talk one hour before each production (9 a.m. for the morning show and 3 p.m. for the encore).
Soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as her formidable rival Amneris. Aleksandrs Antonenko is the warrior Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti takes the podium for the Met’s monumental production.
This grandest of grand operas features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, “Aida” never loses sight of its three protagonists. Few operas have matched Aida in its exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty, and perhaps no other has remained to the present day so unanimously appreciated by audiences and critics alike.
Egypt, during the reign of the pharaohs. At the royal palace in Memphis, the high priest Ramfis tells the warrior RadameÌs that Ethiopia is preparing another attack against Egypt. RadameÌs hopes to command his army. He is in love with Aida, the Ethiopian slave of Princess Amneris, the king’s daughter, and he believes that victory in the war would enable him to free her and marry her. But Amneris loves RadameÌs, and when the three meet, she jealously senses his feelings for Aida. A messenger tells the king of Egypt and the assembled priests and soldiers that the Ethiopians are advancing. The king names RadameÌs to lead the army, and all join in a patriotic anthem. Left alone, Aida is torn between her love for RadameÌs and loyalty to her native country, where her father, Amonasro, is king. She prays to the gods for mercy.
In the temple of Vulcan, the priests consecrate RadameÌs to the service of the god. Ramfis orders him to protect the homeland.
Ethiopia has been defeated, and Amneris waits for the triumphant return of RadameÌs. When Aida approaches, the princess sends away her other attendants so that she can learn her slave’s private feelings. She first pretends that RadameÌs has fallen in battle, then says he is still alive. Aida’s reactions leave no doubt that she loves RadameÌs. Amneris, certain she will be victorious over her rival, leaves for the triumphal procession.
At the city gates the king and Amneris observe the celebrations and crown RadameÌs with a victor’s wreath. Captured Ethiopians are led in. Among them is Amonasro, Aida’s father, who signals his daughter not to reveal his identity as king. RadameÌs is impressed by Amonasro’s eloquent plea for mercy and asks for the death sentence on the prisoners to be overruled and for them to be freed. The king grants his request but keeps Amonasro in custody. The king declares that as a victor’s reward, RadameÌs will have Amneris’s hand in marriage.
On the eve of Amneris’s wedding, Ramfis and Amneris enter a temple on the banks of the Nile to pray. Aida, who is waiting for RadameÌs, is lost in thoughts of her homeland. Amonasro suddenly appears. Invoking Aida’s sense of duty, he makes her agree to find out from RadameÌs which route the Egyptian army will take to invade Ethiopia. Amonasro hides as RadameÌs arrives and assures Aida of his love. They dream about their future life together, and RadameÌs agrees to run away with her. Aida asks him about his army’s route, and just as he reveals the secret, Amonasro emerges from his hiding place. When he realizes that Amonasro is the Ethiopian king, RadameÌs is horrified by what he has done. While Aida and Amonasro try to calm him, Ramfis and Amneris step out of the temple. Father and daughter are able to escape, but RadameÌs surrenders to the priests.
RadameÌs awaits trial as a traitor, believing Aida to be dead. Even after he learns that she has survived, he rejects an offer by Amneris to save him if he renounces Aida. When he is brought before the priests, he refuses to answer their accusations and is condemned to be buried alive. Amneris begs for mercy, but the judges will not change their verdict. She curses the priests.
Aida has hidden in the vault to share RadameÌs’s fate. They express their love for the last time while Amneris, in the temple above, prays for RadameÌs’s soul.
The Met Live Opera’s “Aida” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. (live simulcast) and 4 p.m. (encore). The pre-opera talks will take place one hour before each show. Tickets are $25 general admission, $22 for Film Festival members, and $15 for students. Season tickets for the entire 13th Anniversary season of the Met Live Operas are also available. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office or by calling 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.