Verdi’s grand Egyptian epic returns in a bold new production inspired by contemporary artist RETNA. This intimate love story of an Egyptian military hero, Radames, and a captured Ethiopian princess, Aida, features San Francisco Opera favorites Brian Jagde and Leah Crocetto.

Music by Giuseppe Verdi | Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

See A Performance

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours, 54 minutes with one intermission

Who Should See It

Great first opera. Fans of  contemporary art and Exit Through the Gift Shop. 

Pre-Opera Talks

Pre-Opera Talks are free to ticketholders and take place in the Orchestra section, 55 minutes prior to curtain.

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Saturday 11/05/16 7:30PM
Tuesday 11/08/16 7:30PM
Friday 11/11/16 7:30PM
Monday 11/14/16 7:30PM
Thursday 11/17/16 7:30PM *
Sunday 11/20/16 2:00PM *
Wednesday 11/23/16 7:30PM
Sunday 11/27/16 2:00PM
Wednesday 11/30/16 7:30PM *
Saturday 12/03/16 7:30PM *
Tuesday 12/06/16 7:30PM


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Leah Crocetto continues to amaze!

San Francisco Chronicle

Bold, contemporary designs by Los Angeles street artist RETNA.

San Francisco Examiner

Vibrant, abstract...San Francisco Opera’s new production of the opera powerfully steers Aida away from its origins in 19th-century orientalism and into the present day.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Brian Jagde sounded firm and muscular in the Act I aria, ‘Celeste Aida,’ and his performance grew increasingly ardent and expressive as the evening progressed.

The Mercury News

Leah Crocetto brought both sonic splendor and elegant phrasing.

San Francisco Chronicle

Conductor Nicola Luisotti harnessed the potency of the Orchestra, well-measured and luxurious.

San Francisco Examiner

Read More


A captive Ethiopian princess must choose between patriotic duty and love for an enemy Egyptian captain. 

Read Complete Synopsis ›

Cast & Creative

Aida Leah Crocetto
Amneris Ekaterina Semenchuk
Radames Brian Jagde
Amonasro George Gagnidze
Ramfis Raymond Aceto
King of Egypt Anthony Reed
A Priestess Toni Marie Palmertree
A Messenger Pene Pati


November 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 27, and 30
December 3 and 6, 2016

Conductor Nicola Luisotti 1
Conductor Jordi Bernàcer 2
Director Francesca Zambello
Associate Director E. Loren Meeker
Artistic Designer RETNA*
Set Designer Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer Anita Yavich
Lighting Designer Mark McCullough
Choreographer Jessica Lang*
Associate Choreographer Clifton Brown*
Chorus Director Ian Robertson
Fight Director Dave Maier

 * San Francisco Opera Debut

1November 5, 6, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 27, 30, and December 3

2December 6

A production premiere

A co-production with Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, and Minnesota Opera

Previous performances of Aida can be found in our Archive.

Program Articles

"Aida" as Chamber Opera

Any production of Aida is doomed to fail unless it gets across the central idea that Verdi was grappling with: individuals pushing against events and traditions that are finally much bigger than they are.

When "Aida" Conquered the Silver Screen

The 1953 motion picture Aida is considered today a landmark in the opera-film genre.

Director's Note

Director Francesca Zambello describes the origins and influences behind this new production of Verdi's masterpiece.

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Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn; the San Francisco Opera Guild; Chevron; Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Conductors Fund, the Emerging Stars Fund and the Great Interpreters of Italian Opera Fund; and Joan and David Traitel, through the Great Singers Fund.

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Photo (top): Courtesy of Iron Eye Art Group