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Verdi in Victorian London

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Massimo Zicari

17. Aida (1876)

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On 4 March 1876, Gye announced that the opera season at Covent Garden would begin on 28 March with Rossini’s Guillaume Tell. As usual, the manager was eager to inform the public that he had secured a true parade of star artists for his establishment; this year, the cast included Adelina Patti, Ernest Nicolini and Francesco Tamagno among others. In addition to a selection of works from the traditional repertoire, a couple of novelties were promised that would not fail to attract the public’s interest. Verdi’s grand opera Aida, featuring Adelina Patti in the title role, and Wagner’s Tannhäuser, with Emma Albani, were announced together with Lohengrin and Verdi’s most celebrated works: La traviata, Il trovatore, Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlos, Ernani and Luisa Miller.1 Augusto Vianesi and Enrico Bevignani would share conducting duties. After Guillaume Tell, which opened the season, Un ballo in maschera and Don Giovanni were scheduled for early in April, followed by Les Hug...

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