Utah Opera brings story of ‘Aida’ to life in Salt Lake City

Posted at 10:07 PM, Mar 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 00:07:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A famed production has made its way to Salt Lake City, as the Utah Opera will perform "Aida" at Capitol Theatre this month.

The show Aida involves scenes of love, passion, honor and duty. It’s set about 4,000 years ago and tells the story of a captive Ethiopian princess who is torn between her love for an Egyptian commander, Radames, and her loyalty to her own father and country.

“The costumes are based on ideas from the period,” said Garnett Bruce, Stage Director for the Utah Opera.

In the show, the lovers must fend off schemes from the fiercely jealous Egyptian princess, Amneris.

“He is in love with Aida, who is an Ethiopian slave, who is the slave of the princess of Egypt—his bosses' daughter, who he ends being given into marriage as a reward for having done well as a warrior,” explains Marc Heller, who plays the role of Radames.

Cast members say the costumes bring the production to life.

“The costume, you know, all the bling, the wig, really does affect how I interpret the character,” Katharine Goeldner, who plays Amneris. “You can do so much in the rehearsal room, but once you see the entire effect, it informs the characterization, absolutely.”

The show is full of bright colors.

“When you’re thinking about 4,000 years ago, where did that blue come from?” Bruce said. “You know, berries and tree roots and other dyes. Where did that red come from, where did that gold come from?”

There are also flowing materials.

“We do have one Nile River moment that comes in, and it’s kind of like it flows just like that,” said Jennifer Check, who plays Aida. “It allows me to move gracefully, I feel good, because it’s important to feel good, and sometimes people don’t understand that.”

The elaborate set and design were brought to life by 127 people.

"Aida" premieres at Capitol Theatre on March 12 and runs through March 20. Click here for details and ticketing information.