Get your culture on. Get to the opera.

Before Tim Rice and Elton John made a Disneyfied version, Giuseppe Verdi’s original Aida unites all the opera musts: war, jealousy, daddy issues, pigheaded royalty, treason, love, patriotism, and, natch, untimely, dramatic death.

Composed at a time when, if memory serves, the popular fascination with ancient Egypt would’ve been particularly strong, Verdi’s opera tells the story of particularly dangerous love triangle set against the backdrop of war between Ethiopia and Egypt. The second of 3 operas in the 2006-07 season of the Sacramento Opera, Aida is staged with breath-taking grandeur: simple, strong lines of Egyptian temples; the flowing robes of priests and priestesses; the glittering waters of a gracefully flowing Nile.

If you think you don’t like opera – this production might make you think again . . . but act fast, there’s just one performance left!

Aida is one of the more accessible operas out there – and with handy supertitles projected onto a screen above the stage, you’ll have no problem keeping up with the plot (or you can do some homework with the wikipedia entry, etc). It’s only a 2 hour, 50 minute opera (yeah, that’s on the shorter side of things) and there are two intermissions. Conveniently located at the Community Center Theater (1301 L Street), there’s no reason to miss this show. Even price isn’t an excuse – single tickets range from $110 down to just $15. And trust me, I sat in the nosebleeds this afternoon but missed none of the power or passion of this performance. They’re opera singers – it’s their job to hit the back of the house next door.

There are still tickets left for this Tuesday’s final production – click here to get ’em while they last.

If you make it – be sure to listen for hometown girl Lydia Noland, a Sacramento native whose soprano delivery of “O mighty Ptha” as the Priestess in Act I, Scene 2, is other-worldly – painfully sweet, imploring, hypnotic, and pure – as far as I’m concerned, she stole the show.

Take a chance on live theater – support local artists – and go see Aida. You won’t be disappointed. You might even discover your inner opera lover.

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