On Thursday October 18th, 2012, Katara's Amphitheatre saw the opening performance of Guiseppe Verdi’s critically acclaimed opera, Aida. It was also the first opera to be performed in Qatar.
The 3,275 square meter Amphitheatre, designed by Cansault Maunsil LTD and Architectural Consulting Group U.A.E is a beautiful construction that blends Islamic design with the classic ancient Greek theater concept – a perfect backdrop for the opera's beautiful set design, conceived by Igor Mitoraj.
Carrying a seated audience of up to 5,000 people, the theatre was packed on both the opening night and on the repeat performance on Saturday.
Aida, first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo in 1871, is the story of a Nubian princess named Aida, imprisoned by the Egyptian army, who falls in love with an Egyptian soldier named Radames. Aida becomes torn between her love for an "enemy" and her loyalty to her land, while Radames has to face the wrath of the Egyptian King, father of his betrothed Amneris.
Guideppe Verdi’s opera, in four acts just like the original, brought together more than 80 singers, 12 ballet dancers, and 35 actors, and was joined by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, guided by Verdi specialist Pier Giorgio Morandi.
The opera was sung in Italian and screens on the sides of the theatre displayed subtitles in Arabic and English.
– Khaleejesque Staff