Verdi's "Aida" is one of the most popular operas of all time. It premiered at the Cairo Opera House on Christmas Eve, 1871, and was an immediate commercial success. The plot of "Aida" is filled with political intrigue, love, betrayal, passion, and vengeance, and has captivated audiences for generations. Franco Zeffirelli brings his trademark extravagance this production, which features an ensemble of over 300 actors, singers, and dancers--truly living up to Aida's reputation as "an intimate chamber opera, with a circus in the middle." This performance was rewarded with a 13-minute ovation at the conclusion of the opera.