HomeProductionsOperasAida SynopsisAct One

Act One

Time: Old Kingdom 
Location: Memphis and Thebes 
Premier performance: Cairo, 24 December 1871

Scene 1
A hall in the King's palace in Memphis. Ramfis, the high priest of Egypt, tells Radamès, the young warrior, that war with the Ethiopians are advancing and the chief commander is going to be chosen today. Radamès expresses the hope that gods will choose him as the Egyptian commander. In case of a victory he asks the king of his permission to marry Aida, the Ethiopian slave who belonged to the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris.

Amneris has been in love with Radamès for a long time and does not keep it in secret from Radamès but he does not return her feelings. When Aida appears the princess notices the way her beloved and her slave look at each other and suspects Aida to be her rival.

The King enters in his full glory, along with the High Priest, Ramfis, and the whole palace court. A messenger announces that the Ethiopians, led by King Amonasro, are marching towards Thebes. The King proclaims Radamès to be chosen to lead the army against the Ethiopians. Aida is in despai. Nobody knows that she is the captured daughter of the Ethiopian King Amonasro. If her father wins, Radamès,whom she loves deeply, will die. If gods give the victory to Radamès, her people will be defeated. 

Scene 2
Inside the Temple of Vulcan in Memphis. Radamès kneeels in front of the altar. He is given the ancient sword, thus his installation to the office of commander-in-chief takes place. All present in the temple pray mighty Ptah for the victory of Egypt. Radamès will lead the warriors at dawn.


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