Verdi's Aida - Act II Duet

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Director - Irene Dalis

Conductor: Jonathan Hodel

Accompanist:  Bruce Olstead

Amneris - Monica Barnes

Aida - Lori Decter Purcell



Amneris, Daughter of the Egyptian King, is in love with Radamès, who has been named commander of the Egyptian army to fight the threatening Ethiopans.  Radamès, however, loves Aida, Amneris' Ethiopian slave, who, unbeknownst to all, is the daughter of the Ethiopian king.


In this scene Amneris awaits Radamès' successful return from battle.  Unaware of Aida's nobility, Amneris feigns friendship and sympathy for Aida's concern that her friends and family have been defeated in battle with the Egyptians.  In an attempt to determine if Aida does indeed love Radamès, Amneris tells the slave that he was slain in battle.  Aida's sorrowful response reveals her secret love.  Amneris discloses that Radamès is really alive and tells Aida that she also loves him.  Amneris threatens her rival, warning Aida to keep her place as a slave and ignore her feelings for Radamès.  Aida nearly confesses her identity, but instead pleads for mercy.