Aida: Red Heart, White Eyes

Aida: Red Heart, White Eyes

Update: 2023-04-13
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In Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” Princess Aida is torn between her homeland of Ethiopia (ruled by her father, King Amonasro) and her captor, the Egyptian leader Radamès who loves her and whom she loves in return. It’s a powerful love story, an African love story - so why are Egyptians portrayed as white and the Ethiopian as Black and enslaved? 

This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: We’re joined by tenor Limmie Pulliam, the first Black man to take on the role of Radamès at the Metropolitan Opera, soprano and arts activist Maleasha Taylor, and WQXR host, opera expert, and Cairo native Nimet Habachy on how Aida was commissioned to help position Egypt as the “Paris of the East” and what that means for Egyptians like her today. 

This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov

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Aida: Red Heart, White Eyes

Aida: Red Heart, White Eyes

Nimet Habachy, Limmie Pulliam, Maleasha Taylor