One of the most popular and beloved operas of all time, Aida, in a spectacular staging that captures the grandeur of Ancient Egypt, comes to Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 9 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will broadcast the opera on Friday, June 21 at 9 p.m., with an encore showing Sunday, June 23 at 12:30 p.m.
More than 200 artists fill the Met stage for this performance of Verdi’s tragedy, which sets a heartbreaking love triangle against the backdrop of an empire at war.
Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska made a spectacular Met debut as Aida, the enslaved Ethiopian princess, opposite two major Met stars: tenor Roberto Alagna as the war hero Radamès and Olga Borodina as the pharaoh’s daughter Amneris, Aida’s formidable rival. George Gagnidze sings Amonasro, Aida’s cunning father, and Štefan Kocán is the imposing Egyptian priest Ramfis. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi conducts his first company performances of the opera.
“If you’ve ever wondered why they call it ‘grand’ opera, the magnificent Met Opera production of Verdi’s Aida…can show you what the fuss is all about,” declared Wilborn Hampton in the Huffington Post.
“Ms. Monastyrska is gifted with a luscious round soprano that maintains its glow even in the softest notes,” observed Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in The New York Times. “Her ‘O patria mia’ was beautifully drawn and colored with darker inflections that added dramatic intensity…the combined fervor of Olga Borodina as Amneris and Fabio Luisi at the helm of a fired-up orchestra made for an electrically charged and energetic performance.”
Star soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the cast.
Aida was originally seen live in movie theaters on December 15 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Metis a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Metis provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.