Great Moments In Opera, "se Quel Guerrier Io Fossi, Celeste Aida" From Aida's Verdi

by Gianni Truviani - Date: 2010-09-10 - Word Count: 611 Share This!

Verdi's opera Aida starts in Memphis, Egypt (not Tennessee) in the time of the pharaohs when a high priest informs a young general by the name of Ramades that Egypt has been invaded by an Ethiopian army. It being this arm which is laying waste to many of Egypt's fields and is heading directly toward Memphis with intensions of destruction. Ramades worried over the threat asks the high priest if he has consulted with the holly "Isis" to which he replies that she has not yet decided which general should lead the Egyptian army to encounter this threat. He however ensures Radames that he is sure she will pick a general who is bold and young.

It is with these words that the high priest departs, leaving Radames to hope and dream that he might be the one chosen to lead his countries army to victory over the enemy, his nation is now facing. It is then that Radames begins his aria "Si Quel Guerrir Io Fossi" (If I were this warrior) which he continues by adding "if my dream were to come true, to lead an army of braves on to victory to the applause of all of Memphis and to you my sweet Aida return with laurels as it is for you that I have triumphed". These being the words of the romantic general who wishes to not only serve his country but perform a great deed for his true love, Aida.

Radames, at that point guided by his love for Aida and what he wishes to accomplish in the name of their love continues with "Celeste Aida" (celestial Aida) as he sings with devotion toward the one he adores more than anyone. Radames declaring in his words that Aida is a divine shape, who is a heavenly creature and the queen of his life who should be given a thrown next to the sun and it is for her that he is capable of all. Aida filling him with inspiration as Ramades sings with all the adoration of he who is ready to give all and be all so that he and his beloved might end as a happy couple.

The aria "Celeste Aida" in my opinion has one of loveliest melodies of romance, containing so much in what could be hailed as unfulfilled desire of a warrior poet, who is strong and wise in battle yet has the tenderness to love a woman with all his heart as well as be merciful with those he has defeated in battle. Radames, weather it be with the voice of Domingo or Pavarotti sings of how Aida means everything to him in the harmonies of his emotions that lift him to the heavens as his passion allows us to envision a woman of true grandeur; as she in fact is.

The opera "Aida" is to a certain extent unique in having this sensational aria almost at the start yet it establishes from the very beginning that this is a story of the love of one man for the woman, he considers to the queen of his thoughts in what will turn out to be a tragedy. Aida's and Ramade's being a story that claims the life of both lovers who like Romeo and Juliet also choose death instead of a life without each other. I, for my part desire nothing else but to someday see this wonderful opera with my Joannuszka Slisznuszka. As she is the possessor of the tenderness to permit her to fully appreciate this most refined story of love and sacrifice yet my hopes are that ours not be tragic as was the case of Aida and Ramades.

Related Tags: egypt, aida, verdi, gianni truvianni, pavarotti, joannuszka slisznuszka, ramades, domingo

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