Portrait of Ferdinand de Lesseps
Related Story: Aida 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. It was first
performed at the Khedivial Opera
House in Cairo on December 24, 1871.
Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War. 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 in the same year. Verdi had been asked to compose an ode for the occasion, but refused on the grounds that he did not write "occasional pieces". Text Source: Wikipedia.
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