• Aida Classroom Activity

The activities in this guide address several aspects of Aida:

  • the structure of character relationships at the heart of this epic story
  • Verdi’s use of compositional technique to direct attention during the opera
  • comparisons between the opera’s fictional setting and historical Egypt
  • the production as a unified work of art, involving creative decisions by the artists of the Metropolitan Opera

The guide is intended to cultivate students’ interest in Aida whether or not they have any prior acquaintance with opera. It includes activities for students with a wide range of musical backgrounds, seeking to encourage them to think about opera—and the performing arts in general—as a medium of entertainment and as creative expression.

Who Do You Love: A Close Look at the Interpersonal Relationships in Aida

For all its visual splendor and exotic atmosphere, Aida is fundamentally an intimate tale of love and social responsibility. At its center is the romantic triangle of Radamès, Aida, and Amneris, which by extension mirrors Radamès’s devotion to his native Egypt and Aida’s to her beloved Ethiopia. In this Classroom Activity, students will use a tool from the social sciences, the sociogram, to untangle the complicated allegiances and animosity within and among Verdi’s characters. They will:

  • listen to operatic selections revealing characters’ attitudes and concerns
  • use a clearly defined method to take notes on the feelings expressed
  • construct sociograms depicting the feelings and relationships that drive the opera
  • predict, explain, and debate characters’ decisions based on the sociograms they have constructed.