Opera Aida, the most famous four-act opera inspired by ancient Egypt, will be performed at the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut in October.
The beloved and popular opera has often been performed abroad, namely in Europe and in the United States. It was also performed in Egypt, most notably at Giza, before the pyramids.
The decision to show ‘Opera Aida’ on October 26 and 28 is to promote tourism in Luxor. Most recently, the Ministry of Antiquities and the Ministry of tourism have been attempting to revive Egypt’s top natural and archeological sites to boost tourism outside of Cairo.
With an orchestra which will be directed by Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyni, the performances are set to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal’s opening as well.
Accordingly, the performances aim to inspire high attendance, with marketing campaigns launched in a number of European and Asian countries.
The city also hopes to attract as many as 5,000 tourists as well as high-profile figures such as “kings, presidents, politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and artists” as per ANSAMed news outlet.
Aida will be performed in the space before the mortuary temple of the 18th dynasty queen Hatshepsut which is an impressive and popular tourist destination by itself.
Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the acclaimed opera was one of the masterworks of Giuseppe Verdi. It was originally commissioned by Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, for the opening of the suez canal.
However, due to delays, it was originally premiered at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House in 1871.
The commissioned the Italian opera composer for 150,000 gold francs, with its initial costumes and accessories designed by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette.
The opera achieved a significant level of success, paving the way for international productions. In the Metropolitan Opera in New York alone, it has been performed over 1,100 times since 1886.
‘Opera Aida’ tells the story of a forbidden romance between an Ethiopian slave, Aida, and Commander of the Egyptian Army Radamis against a backdrop of war. When the latter is chosen to lead Egypt to war with Aida, the opera follows the conflict between her personal struggle of following her affections and her civic duties towards her country.