In Aida, the grandiose and the intimate converge as in few other operas: the bloody confrontation between Ethiopians and Egyptians is juxtaposed by the love of Radamès, Captain of the Egyptian Guard, for Aida, a slave of the Ethiopians. Their love is more powerful than the hatred between the two peoples, their social differences and incompatible perspectives. This love was as solid as the wall which blocked its consummation.
Verdi chose this story after rejecting several alternatives with comical or thematic plots to which he could have composed a grand opera. He became hugely involved with the writing of the libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, he had collaborated in the revision of La forza del destino. The success of the premiere in the opera house of Cairo, having opened two years previously, was sensational. As part of the Bicentennial celebrations, the Teatro Real pays tribute to its past by recouping part of the scenery of the 1998 production from its repository. Acclaimed at that time, the technical and material complexities have made it impossible to revive until now. Aida returns to the Teatro Real.