Aida sometimes spelled Aïda, is an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

 to an Italian libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonio Ghislanzoni was an Italian journalist, poet, and novelist who wrote librettos for Verdi, among other composers, of which the best known are Aida and the revised version of La forza del destino....

, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette
Auguste Mariette
François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette was a French scholar, archaeologist and Egyptologist, the designer of the rebuilt Egyptian Museum under Maximilian of Austria orders when the later had gained control of the artifacts collected to that point.-Early career:Born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Mariette...

. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House
Khedivial Opera House
The Khedivial Opera House or Royal Opera House was the original opera house in Cairo, Egypt. It was dedicated on November 1, 1869 and burned down on October 28, 1971....

 in Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 on 24 December 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini
Giovanni Bottesini
Giovanni Bottesini was an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso.-Biography:Born in Crema, Lombardy, he was taught the rudiments of music by his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer, at a young age and had played timpani in Crema with the Teatro Sociale before...

Isma'il Pasha
Isma'il Pasha
Isma'il Pasha , known as Ismail the Magnificent , was the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of the United Kingdom...

, Khedive
The term Khedive is a title largely equivalent to the English word viceroy. It was first used, without official recognition, by Muhammad Ali Pasha , the Wāli of Egypt and Sudan, and vassal of the Ottoman Empire...

 of Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...


Every story, new or ancient, bagatelle or work of art: all are tales of human failing; all are tales of love at heart... --"Every Story is a Love Story"

Perfection is such hard work to maintain, but worth the effort, don't you think?

Conversation? Wit? I am a doubter. Manners? Charm? They're no way to impress. So forget the inner me - observe the outer: I am what I wear and how I dress! -- "My Strongest Suit"

They want a goddess and I'm just...human.

Are you trying to get me drunk, Radames? You know it's not necessary.

This should have been my time; It's over. It never began. -- "I Know the Truth"

Nothing is an accident, we are free to have it all. We are what we want to be; it's in ourselves to rise or fall. -- "Fortune Favors the Brave"

And who'd have thought I'd throw my world away to be with someone I'm afraid will say "Not me."...Not me. --"Not Me"

I'm sorry for everything I've said and for anything I forgot to say too. When things get so complicated I stumble, at best, muddle through. I wish that our lives could be simple; I don't want the world: only you. I wish I could tell you this face to face, but there's never the time - never the place! So this letter will have to do; I love you. -- "Radames Letter"

You are all I'll ever want, but this - I am denied. Sometimes in my darkest thoughts I wish I'd never learned what it is to be in love and have that love returned. -- "Written in the Stars"