Andrew Cloud/Houston Grand Opera
Verdi's Aida tells a powerful love story taking place during a period of wartime violence in ancient Egypt. The title character is an Ethiopian princess, daughter of King Amonasro. But she's being held as a slave by the Egyptians, and has fallen in love with Radames, an Egyptian general. In Act Three, Aida is torn between her loyalty to her country and her love for Radames, and sings the moving aria "O patria mia," longing for her homeland and afraid that she'll never see it again. In Houston Grand Opera's production of Aida, the title role is sung by Bulgarian soprano Zvetelina Vassileva.