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Step into the opulence and grandeur of ancient Egypt as Vancouver Opera presents Aida, the famed Verdi opera that follows an enslaved Ethiopian princess and a military commander who is forced to choose between his love for Aida and his loyalty to the pharaoh.

Former National Ballet principal dancer Chan Hon Goh hand-picked 12 artists from as far away as Brazil and Japan for the powerful production, which also features lavish sets and costumes, and music by a 64-person orchestra and a 60-member choir.

Soprano Mlada Khudoley, whom the New York Times praised for her "lush, sizable and luminous voice," plays Aida, while award-winning Louisiana mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas plays Amneris and Arnold Rawls makes his VO debut as Radames.

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Not exactly an opera aficionado? Catch a free preview talk an hour before each show.

Aida runs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until May 3 (vancouveropera.ca ).

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