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Amneris


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(Verdi: Aida). Mez. Daughter of the King of Egypt. She is in love with Radamès, captain in the Egyptian army, but has guessed that he is in love with her Ethiopian slave, Aida. Amneris pretends to be a friend to Aida, and the girl confesses her feelings for Radamès. When Radamès returns triumphant and is crowned victor, the King of Egypt offers him Amneris's hand in marriage, an offer he cannot refuse without offending the King. The eve before her wedding, Amneris enters the temple, intending to spend the night there in prayer. As she emerges from the temple with her father, she sees Radamès, who has had a last meeting with Aida, and Aida's father Amonasro, who lunges forward to kill his daughter's rival, but is prevented from so doing by Radamès. Radamès is entombed below the temple, where he finds Aida waiting, ready to die with him. Amneris prays that the man she loves, and for whose death she is responsible, will find peace in Heaven. Aria (with slave‐girls): Ah! Vieni, vieni amor mio (‘Ah! Come to me, come to me my love’); duets (with Aida): Vieni, o diletta (‘Come, dearest friend’); Trema, vil schiava! (‘Fear me, slave!’). Popular as the role of Aida is with sopranos, so mezzo‐sopranos flock to sing Amneris. In recent years these have included Giulietta Simionato, Constance Shacklock, Ebe Stignani, Irina Arkhipova, Oralia Dominguez, Fedora Barbieri, Jean Madeira, Grace Bumbry, Fiorenza Cossotto, and Sally Burgess. Created (1871) by Eleonora Grossi.

Subjects: Opera.


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