Performance Dates & Times

February 1st, 2009 Sunday 2:00 pm
January 30th, 2009 Friday 7:30 pm

download the playbill

Technical Staff

  • Director: Albert Sherman
  • Set: Courtesy of Actors Theatre of Phoenix
  • Set Design: David J. Castellano
  • Costumes: Courtesy of Utah Opera
  • Costume Design: Susan Allred
  • Lighting Design: Paul A. Black
  • Supertitles: Courtesy of Arizona Opera
  • Wigs: Courtesy of Anne Nesmith
  • Stage Manager: Nykol DeDreu
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Diane Ouradnik
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Anne Jude
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Katherine Roll Lang
  • Accompanist/Supertitles: Katherine Kozak
  • Costume Supervisor: Amanda Embry
  • Props Master: Todd Hulet
  • Master Electrician: Tim Monson

Aïda Chorus

  • John Massaro - Director
  • Aubrey Allicock
  • Lydia Choi
  • Armando Contreras
  • Katie Davidson
  • Alexis Davis
  • Paul Gallegos
  • Kerry Ginger
  • Daniel Greene
  • Anna-Lisa Hackett
  • Harriet Harris
  • Earl Hazell
  • Katarzyna Honsberger
  • Jim Huey
  • Carl King
  • Yolanda London
  • Antonio Lozano
  • Mary Jane McCloskey
  • Edson Melendez
  • Holly Meyer
  • Shaun Moe
  • Rebecca Morris
  • Jennifer Nagy
  • Melanie Ohm
  • Guillermo Ontiveros
  • Francisco Renteria
  • Kathleen Ruhleder
  • Larry Sewell
  • Patricia (Trish) Sewell
  • Tregoney Shepherd
  • Lianna Stehle
  • Jeffrey Stevens
  • Matt Strader
  • Erin Tompkins
  • GayLin Tutnick
  • Lorenzo Valentini
  • Arnulfo Velasquez
  • Robert Wilkinson
  • Katherine Zannis

Aïda Dancers

  • Lisa Starry - Director/Choreographer
  • Danielle Addison
  • Aubrey Arnold
  • Rachel Davies
  • Keri Fraker
  • Liliana Gomez
  • Andrea Hashim
  • Darryl Khalid
  • Kaseem Khalid
  • Nicole Olson
  • Alexis Peralta
  • Rianna Rhoads
  • Rufus Rodriquez
  • David Starry
  • Ambur Towns
  • Victor Vela

Aïda Orchestra

Violin I

  • Jim Apperson - Concertmaster
  • Mike Prokes
  • Christopher Jordan
  • Laura Speck
  • Carol Shive
  • Paulyna Nutaitis

Violin II

  • Sadarius Slaughter - Principal
  • Brandon Apperson
  • Marna Bowling
  • Priscilla Benitez
  • Sunny Ra
  • Sarah Bowlin


  • Laura Apperson - Principal
  • Sidney Williams
  • VerRona Grandil


  • Maria Simiz - Principal
  • Maurine Fleming
  • Mary Frances DiBartolo
  • Carol Ann Hays


  • Claudia Botterweg - Principal
  • Ryan Kuck


  • Barbara Davis Chao - Principal
  • Melanie Winans


  • Ashley Williams


  • Jana Starling - Principal
  • Brian Dredla


  • Melanie Sanguinetti

French Horns

  • Gus Camacho - Principal
  • Rose French


  • James Benitez - Principal
  • David Thibodeaux


  • Marty Demos
  • Grant Jordan


  • Gene Cervantes


  • Sonja Branch


  • Paula Provo


Kenny Barrett, Xavier Brown, William Broyles IV, Robert Coleman, Jesse Fairchild, Ty Flackman, Dion Foreman, Kevin Frei, Colin Gallacher, Alvin Hall, Donald C. Johanson, Dion Johnson, George Johnson, Deshawn Jones, Rex Lambert, Adam Marr, James Marinaro, Brenetta Meadows, Julian Pena, Chris Puglisi, David Romero, George Sheppard, Ronald Vasquez, Nate Wahlstrom, Jeff Young



by Giuseppe Verde

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette.

Aida Cast Members

Marie-Adele McArthur (Aida)


Soprano Marie-Adele McArthur, “possesses a striking voice - unified in its pleasing color, capable of tremendous range, strong enough to easily soar over the combined sonic mass of the orchestra and chorus, and used with acute intelligence.

Grace Echauri (Amneris)

Young mezzo-soprano Grace Echauri is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, where she made her operatic debut there at a very early age as Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Guadalajara Opera.

Drew Slatton (Radames)

Career highlights have included Radames in AIDA with Orlando Opera, Connecticut Opera, OperaDelaware, Nevada Opera, Sacramento Opera, Phoenix Opera, and Pensacola Opera.

Donnie Ray Albert (Amonasro)

Baritone, Donnie Ray Albert, is a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. He earned his Bachelor of Music at Louisiana State University and his Master of Music from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and is presently a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago’s Columbia College.

Mikhail Svetlov (Ramfis)

Celebrated Russian bass and international opera star Mikhail Svetlov is known for the unique range and beauty of his voice as well as for his outstanding acting ability. He studied piano, choral conducting and graduated as a singer from Moscow Conservatory

Andrew Gray (The King)

Baritone and native Arizonan, Andrew Gray, is an outstanding singer and actor with a wide range of performance experience in opera, theatre, oratorio and mime.

Francisco Rentería (The Messenger)

Francisco Rentería was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music from the University of Arizona where he studied piano performance under Dr. Nohema Fernández.

The Story of AÏDA

Act I

Memphis in ancient Egypt. In the royal palace, the high priest Ramfis warns Radames, a young officer, that Ethiopia may soon declare war on the Nile Valley. Radames hopes that the goddess Isis will choose him as the commander of the army. He envisions that a victory over them would enable him to free his lover, Aida, an Ethiopian slave of hidden royal background held captive by Princess Amneris. Also in love with Radames, the jealous Amneris enters and questions him about Aida. Amneris also suspects she can see love for Radames in Aida’s eyes. Fearing they are planning to be together, Amneris swears vengeance on Aida, whom she considers unfit to be with the young officer.

A message arrives to announce that the Ethiopian army, led by King Amonasro (Aida’s father), is advancing on Thebes. The Egyptian King leads a war procession and Radames is selected as leader of the Egyptian army. The people echo Princess Amneris as she cries, “Return victorious!” and Aida is surprised to hear herself say these words. She contemplates her conflict of loyalty between her native land and her lover and she prays for mercy.

Act II

Radames is successful in battle and Ethiopia is defeated. Awaiting his return, Amneris is preparing for Radames’ triumphal homecoming to Thebes. In an attempt to find out if Aida truly loves Radames, Amneris tells the slave that Radames was killed in battle. When Amneris sees the despair this news causes Aida, she reveals that Radames is, in fact, alive. Aida’s joyous response convinces Amneris that Aida does indeed love Radames. Now certain of their love, Amneris warns Aida to ignore her feelings for him because she is just a slave and cannot compete with a daughter of the Pharaohs. Aida almost angrily confesses her royal identity to Amneris, but waits instead and repeats her prayers. At the city gates, Radames returns and his victory is celebrated by a parade and dance. While war captives are being led in, Radames is crowned victor. Among the captives is Aida’s father Amonasro, disguised as an officer, who gestures to her not to betray his royal identity. Amonasro delivers an eloquent plea for mercy and Radames asks that the death sentence on the prisoners be overruled and that they be freed as his reward. The king agrees and offers Amneris’ hand in marriage as Radames’ reward, but keeps Amonasro in custody as a guarantee of peace.


On the bank of the Nile, Amneris is led by Ramfis to the temple of Isis to receive the goddess’ blessing for her wedding. Aida is overcome with nostalgic thoughts of her conquered homeland as she waits for Radames nearby the temple. Her father Amonasro appears and encourages her to betray her lover by asking Radames where the Egyptian army will enter Ethiopia. She battles with her feelings between her father and her lover, but finally agrees to her father’s request. Radames appears and tells Aida he will marry her after his next victory. While Amonasro is hiding close by, Aida reluctantly asks Radames where they will enter Ethiopia. Once Radames reveals the military secret to her, Amonasro steps out of hiding and reveals his true identity. Radames is dismayed by his unwilling act of treason and is soon discovered by Amneris, who declares that Radames is a traitor. Radames submits while Amonasro and Aida escape. Act IV — Radames is awaiting trial in a temple of judgment where Amneris offers to save him if he renounces Aida and marries her. He refuses, choosing death. When he is led away, Amneris is appalled by the consequences of her jealousy and she curses the judges for condemning him. Buried alive in a tomb, Radames is joined by Aida who slips in to share his fate. They bid farewell to earth, while Amneris prays for peace.

© Copyright OPERA NEWS 2007. Reprinted with permission