Aida Opera on Coolangatta Beach

by | Oct 1, 2017

Aida Opera on Coolangatta Beach

Aida Opera on Coolangatta Beach

The Main Characters are:

Aida: an Ethiopian princess enslaved in Egypt and handmaiden to Amneris

  • Radames: Aida’s lover; A Captain – chosen to lead the Egyptians in battle
  • Amneris: an Egyptian princess; daughter of the King of Egypt
  • Amonasro: King of Ethiopia; Aida’s Father

Composed 1870-1871.

First performed December 24, 1871 in Cairo, Egypt

Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni (in Italian)

Aida Opera on Coolangatta Beach

Griffith Opera on the Beach AIDA

‘Aida’ was composed by Giuseppe Verdi for opening of a new opera house in Cairo, Egypt. Delays beyond Verdi’s control meant that Aida was not ready for the opening of the new house and Rigoletto was performed instead. But two years later, Aida premièred in Cairo in December 1871 and in Milan a few months later.

Verdi did not attend the Cairo première, but directed the Milan performance. It was a resounding success and the audience called him back to the stage thirty-two times with thunderous applause! He was gifted an ivory baton, and a star made of diamonds with the name of Aida spelled out in rubies.

Today, “Aida” is one of the most famous operas in the world and renowned as one of the world’s greatest outdoor operas. The famous New York Metropolitan Opera has performed Aida more than 1,100 times since 1886.

Aida is a four-act opera set in ancient Egypt – Memphis and Thebes during the reign of the Pharaohs. The audience is transported through the King’s Palace, the Temple of Vulcan, the chamber of Amneris and the Grand Gate of the city of Thebes. There are scenes on the banks of the Nile, near the Temple of Isis and the last act, again at the temple of Vulcan. Aida is a timeless story of love and betrayal set against the backdrop of war, through the powerful music of Verdi – a story full of drama and deep emotions.

Act 1 – Palace of Memphis

Aida is an Ethiopian princess who lies about her identify. She is held prisoner in Egypt, as a slave and handmaiden to Amneris, the daughter of the King of Egypt. An Egyptian Captain, Radames, is secretly in love with Aida, and she with him. When the King of Egypt appoints Radames to lead a war against Ethiopia, he finds his loyalties divided between his love and his loyalty to the Pharaoh.  Aida is deeply conflicted about her love for her country and her love for Radames. Through victory in battle, Radames hopes to win the hand of the beautiful Aida.

Act 2 – Amneris’s Apartments

The Egyptian King’s daughter, Amneris is also in love with Radames. Amneris manages to trick Aida into revealing her love for Radiates. This makes Amneris furious. Radames wins the war, he returns to Egypt. The Egyptian King intends to reward Radames by bestowing Amneris to him, and for him to become the successor. Amneris is ecstatic, Aida feels deep sorrow and Radames is very confused.

Act 3 – Temple of Isis

Aida recognises her father, Amonasro, the Ethiopian King among the prisoners. He forces Aida to betray Radames by eliciting from him his military secrets. Aida proposes to Radames that they escape from Egypt and live together. Radames agrees and then he reveals a secret escape route to her. Amneris appears and arrests Radames as a betrayer. Radames tells Aida and Amonasro to escape through the secret route.

Act 4 – The Judgement

To leak military secrets results in the death penalty. Amneris offers to save Radames only if he promises to love and marry her. But, he refuses and is prepared to die. Radames is buried alive in deep grave. He is surprised at the sight of Aida there. She has snuck into the grave before he was imprisoned. Together they wait for death to come.

The Coolangatta night sky will be lit up by lights and fireworks. The huge cast and orchestra perform Verdi’s famous music in a new production featuring fireworks, fantastic singing and colourful costumes. Aida is often the subject of lavish outdoor performances.

 Mind Boggling Facts and Figures about the Coolangatta Stage Set Up   

  • Two 7.6m Pharaohs tower over the stage; they are carved out of polystyrene. It took two props makers 240 hours to make the statues. They travelled to the Coolangatta event site in a 40ft-shipping container
  • The staircase on stage is 17m long
  • 10 principal artists, 10 dancers, 50 musicians and 55 Community Chorus singers are involved in the production
  • 10 Surf Lifesavers look after the cast and crew
  • It took 11 days to turn the beach into a pop-up performance venue
  • 44 wigs adorn the heads of the cast; all handmade from human hair
  • 2 adult NSW camels are part of the show
  • The venue includes 130m of white picket fencing; 400m of temporary fencing and 1000sqm of ground protection
  • 35 tonnes of ballast support the stage scaffold
  • 1 km of festoon lighting illuminates the site
  • Two generators support the electrical needs of the entire site
  • 3800 audience members see the performance every night
  • There are 1574 folding beach chairs dotted across the sand
  • 150 shots of fireworks of different sizes and colours explode into the night sky during the fireworks display






Aida Opera on Coolanagatta Beach
Aida Opera on Coolangatta Beach

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Checklist

Subscribe to the Progressive Traveller community and receive my FREE printable travel packing checklists. Learn how to pack efficiently and maximise your luggage space for your next trip abroad. (checklist available at the end of this section)

Book Your Flight

eDreams AU is my favourite airline search engine for booking both my domestic and international flights. Also check out my pro tips on how to find the best and cheapest flights in my Go Travel eBook.

Rent A Car is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.

Book Accommodation

My go-to-online accommodation search engine is With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.

Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.

Protect You and Your Belongings

If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Protect yourself and your belongings with my preferred consumer insurer, World Nomads. They provide an extensive range of options to suit your type of travel and they are giving my readers a 5% discount code when they enter Go Travel. Head to World Nomads, and enter the promo code GOTRAVEL for an exclusive discount!*  

Please note: 

  • For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, World Nomads cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.


Time To Travel

Get My Travel Checklist


Join Our Travel Community and Get My Travel Checklist for FREE


Your email address will never ever be shared, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you want

Privacy consent

Welcome to the Progressive Traveller Tribe. You have successfull subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This