Connecticut Lyric Opera to perform 'Aida' Friday at Garde

Principal actors from left to right: Ivan Conrad as Amonasro, Kofi Hayford as the King Of Egypt, Steve Fredericks as Ramfis and 
Galina Ivannikova as Amneris. (Courtesy of Connecticut Lyric Opera)
Principal actors from left to right: Ivan Conrad as Amonasro, Kofi Hayford as the King Of Egypt, Steve Fredericks as Ramfis and Galina Ivannikova as Amneris. (Courtesy of Connecticut Lyric Opera)

Set in ancient Egypt, “Aida” is one of those opera classics that has, since its premiere in 1871 at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo, Egypt, wowed audiences and cemented its place in the operatic canon. Adapted from an Italian libretto by Antonia Ghislanzoni, “Aida” was written as an opera in 1870 by Italian operatist Guiseppe Verdi in Italian.

It is a story about patriotism, jealousy, war and the predicament of forbidden love, with the storyline going as follows: Warrior Radames falls in love with the Ethiopian slave Aida (who he doesn’t know is a princess), and Aida, torn between her love for Radames and her loyalty to her father and to her country, must make a decision.

Forbidden love is, of course, one of those story themes that has an enduring element to it — one that pulls at the heartstrings for many. This might, then, explain why “Aida” has held its place in the minds of opera fans for so long — much in the same way that “Romeo and Juliet” has for lovers of Shakespeare and theater.

A fully staged production of “Aida” will be making its way to the Garde Arts Center on Friday, courtesy of the Connecticut Lyric Opera. The opera will be performed in its original Italian verison and will include a projection of English subtitles. Conducted by CLO’s artistic director, Adrian Sylveen, the production will be accompanied by the CLO resident orchestra and production partner, the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. An international cast of operatists will perform. Lithuanian soprano Jurate Svediate will play as Aida. American tenor Daniel Juarez is Radames, and Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Galina Ivannikova will be the Egyptian princess, Amneris. A full chorus will also be led by chorus master Dara Blackstone.

“Aida,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; presented by the Connecticut Lyric Opera; $29-$52; (860) 444-7373.

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