Christmas Eve, 1871. In Cairo’s newly built opera house, the curtain rises on the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s »Aida«. This is a turning point in cultural history, when an occidental passion for exoticism and an oriental interest in European high culture come together to create great art. Very few works of opera have achieved such widespread popularity. And rightly so: with its thrilling musical effects, exotic sounds and tableaux, the colourful instrumentation and monumental scenes alternating with moments of great intimacy, »Aida« is a true musical and dramatic treasure trove. And that’s not all. Through the tragic love affair between the Ethiopian princess Aida and the Egyptian army commander Radamès, torn between the interests of state, church and family, Giuseppe Verdi reflects on the crisis-ridden plight of the modern individual, ending with a highly moving plea for the utopian power of love.