Writers: Giuseppe Verdi Antonio Ghislanzoni


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Romance, Tragedy
Multiple Settings, Spectacle, Period
Time & Place
Egypt, Time of the Pharaohs, Memphis, Ancient Times
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
Professional Opera, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, elderly, young adult characters


A tragic tale of forbidden love, Aida follows the struggle of the Ethiopian princess, Aida, and the young Egyptian warrior, Radamès, as they try to decide between their love for each other or loyalty to their countries.

Aida has been captured by the Egyptians, who do not know her true identity, and is being held as a slave. She and Radamès have secretly fallen in love. The Princess of Egypt, Amneris, is also in love with Radamès. When she learns of Aida and Radamès's relationship, Amneris threatens her, and promises that she will be victorious in this fight.

Aida’s father, King Amonasro, discovers that his daughter has been captured and declares war on Egypt. In response, the King of Egypt declares Radamès as the leader of his army. and launches a ferocious campaign against the Ethiopians. The Egyptians are victorious, and return with several prisoners of war, including Amonasro, who hides his true identity from them. Amonasro finds out about the relationship between Radamès and Aida, and asks his daughter to find out military secrets.

In celebration of the victory, the King of Egypt declares that Radamès and Amneris will be married. Radamès desperately wants to reveal his relationship with Aida, to prevent the marriage, but Aida convinces him to run away with her instead. With her father hiding in the same room, Aida asks him to tell her where the Egyptian troops will be, so they might plan their escape. But before anyone can take action, Amneris reveals herself; she heard everything and declares Radamès a traitor. While Amneris calls for them to be captured, Amonasro and Aida escape.

Radamès is tried in the temple by Ramfis, and although offered the chance to save himself by giving up the traitors, he refuses. He is sentenced to be buried alive beneath the altar in the temple of Vulcan. As he enters his tomb, Aida is there waiting for him. Amonasro was killed in the escape and now her only remaining loyalty is to the man she loves. Together, they accept their fate, as Amneris prays for peace over the tomb.

Lead Characters

Aida guide sections