Verdi’s exotic opera, Aida, is often performed on a grand scale, its characters moving through history in a stately manner. Despite the grandeur, these characters have hearts that beat, blood that is warm, and passions as intense as our own. The duets are dramatic as can be, the romanzas (Radames’ ‘Celeste Aida’ and ‘O patria mia’) romantic in the extreme. Aida remains in the memory, too, for its gentle moments, the wistful dying fall of Amneris’ cry: ‘Ah! vieni amor . . .’ and Aida’s ‘O terra addio’. This is Verdi at the zenith of his power.