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Kelebogile Besong in Aida

February 23 — February 28, 8:00 p.m.Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Mary Birnbaum, stage director
John Todd, choreographer
Grace Laubacher, scenic designer
Anshuman Bhatia, lighting designer
Katie Wilson, costume designer
Ora Jewell-Busche, wig and makeup designer
Hye-Young Kim, rehearsal accompanist
Will Hunter, stage manager
William Pruett, props coordinator

VERDI: Aida 
Duration: 3 hours, including 1 25-minute intermission
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.

Our semi-staged concert opera productions have been extremely popular and always sell out. Continuing in that tradition, we present Verdi’s most popular opera. “Aida” tells the story of a doomed love triangle involving the Pharaoh’s daughter, the enslaved Nubian princess Aida and the ambitious soldier they both love. Aida reflects Verdi’s great musical genius at its most voluptuous. Thrill to some of opera’s greatest arias, most powerful choruses and the stirring Triumphal March.


Aida  ~  Kelebogile Besong
Radamès  ~  Arnold Rawls
Amneris  ~  Milena Kitic
Amonasro  ~  Mark Delavan
Ramfis  ~  Julian Close
The King  ~  Philip Skinner
Messenger  ~  Nicholas Preston 
High Priestess  ~  Renée Tatum
Little Aida  ~   Sienna Burnette
Pacific Chorale — John Alexander, artistic director
Tyquan Christie, Raymond Ejiofor, Lisa Gillespie, Isaac Huerta, Natalie Iscovich & Andrew Martinez ~ dancers

This production marks the North American debut of the exciting South African soprano Kelebogile Besong in the title role. After representing her country in the 2015 BBC Singer of the World competition, she recently made her role debut in Aida at Sweden's famed Malmö Opera to critical acclaim. 

Program Notes

Read more about the opera, the singers, Music Director Carl St.Clair, Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony in the program notes.


DIGITAL PROGRAM NOTES: NoteStream has partnered with Pacific Symphony to bring you digital program notes in an easy-to-read format on your iPhone or iPad. The NoteStream app includes all the notes you'll find in the program book as well as images and videos. Use the unique "Tap to Listen" feature and Siri herself will read the notes to you! Get the app and read the program notes on NoteStream.

Pacific Chorale

Guest Artist

Pacific Chorale

Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Under the inspired guidance of Artistic Director John Alexander, Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence.

Pacific Chorale is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. John Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, and collaborating with the London Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.