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Verdi's "Aida" at Hong Kong Cultural Centre in October

One of the highlight programmes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be a five-night season of Guiseppe Verdi's operatic masterpiece "Aida" in October, jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Opera Hong Kong.

Music by Verdi on a libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a plot by Mariette Bey, "Aida" unfolds in four acts and seven scenes.

Aida, an Ethiopian princess who is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt, is torn between the love of her homeland, family and Radames, the man she loves. Radames is appointed commander of the Egyptian army and sent off to fight the Ethiopian invasion. Amneris, princess of Egypt, senses the feelings between Aida and Radames which angers her for she is also in love with Radames, although he does not return the feeling.

Radames returns triumphant to Egypt with a group of Ethiopian prisoners, including Amonasro, Aida's father. Amonasro manipulates Aida into getting the battle plan of the Egyptian army from Radames. When Radames uncovers the military secret, Amneris discovers and cries out at the betrayal. Radames is sentenced to be buried alive. In the living tomb he finds Aida has previously concealed herself in the crypt, choosing to die with him. As the lovers die in each other's arms, Amneris, in bitter isolation, prays for Radames' eternal peace.

A love tragedy acknowledging the victory of highest power of love for more than 120 years, this Hong Kong production, with set design and costumes based on Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, is produced by Warren Mok, directed by Maurizio di Mattia, starring a strong cast of local and overseas vocalists and supported by local groups including Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Hong Kong Ballet.

The performance will be staged at 7.30pm from October 11 to 15 (Thursday to Monday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Tickets ranged from $150 to $880 will be available at URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (August 9) onwards, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients can have 50% off. There are limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis. 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will also be a maximum of 15% off for various booking schemes. Please refer to the programme leaflets for details.

For programmes enquiries, please call 2268 7321 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Wednesday, August 8, 2007
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