Screening of ‘Aida’ begins Carolina Civic Center opera film series

By Sarah Willets - [email protected]

LUMBERTON — A new series at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater that will transport Lumberton audiences to ancient Egypt begins on Thursday.

A screening of the classic opera “Aida” will kick off the downtown theater’s Great Operas Concert Film Series.

The series is presented in conjunction with Rising Alternative Films, which distributes operas on film worldwide, making the lofty art form more accessible to the masses.

Set in ancient Egypt’s capital city of Memphis, “Aida” — first performed in Cairo on Christmas Eve 1871 — tells the tale of an Ethiopian princess held captive by the Egyptian king’s daughter. When the princess, named Aida, and an army commander fall in love, both must chose between each other and their loyalties to their own countries.

At New York’s Metropolitan Opera, “Aida” has been sung more than 1,100 times, making it the second most frequently performed opera there.

The version of Guiseppe Verdi’s opera that will be shown at the Civic Center was performed and recorded in February 2015 and “is considered one of the best contemporary stagings of Verdi’s quintessential lyric opera,” according to the theater’s website.

Directed by Peter Stein, conducted by Zubin Mehta and performed at Italy’s La Scala opera house, the performance runs approximately two and a half hours. The opera is performed in Italian and the film will include English subtitles.

Thursday’s show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased in person or by telephone weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. at the theater or by calling the Civic Center at 910-738-4339. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

A clip of the performance can be viewed at

The showing of “Aida” follows several postponements and cancellations of Carolina Civic Center events because of Hurricane Matthew. The theater suffered minor damage but was ready for curtain call before the end of October.

Other performances featured in the Civic Center’s Great Operas Concert Film Series include a Jan. 12 screening of “Tosca” and a March 9 showing of “Madame Butterfly.”

By Sarah Willets

[email protected]

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

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