Aida

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Aida (sometimes spelled Aïda, pronounced /ɑːˈiːdɑː/ ah-EE-dah, from Arabic: عايدة‎, pronounced [ˈʕaːjdah], an Arabic female name meaning "visitor" or "returning") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.

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Origin

Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs,[1] but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War. One scholar has argued that the scenario was written by Temistocle Solera and not by Auguste Mariette.[2] Metastasio's libretto Nitteti (1756) was a major source of the plot.[3] Contrary to popular belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, nor that of the Khedivial Opera House (which opened with Verdi's Rigoletto) in the same year. (Verdi had been asked to compose an ode for the opening of the Canal, but declined on the grounds that he did not write "occasional pieces".)[4]

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