Guiseppe Verdi Aida 1908 Hippodrome Bumper Sticker
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppːe ˈverdi]; October 9 or 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and Triumphal March from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition. Aida (sometimes spelled Aïda, pronounced /ɑːˈiːdɑː/ ah-EE-dah, from Arabic: عايدة, pronounced [ˈʕaːjdah], an Arabic female name meaning "visitor" or "returning") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. A Hippodrome ἱππόδρομος) was a stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. The name is derived from the words "hippos (ἵππος; "horse") and "dromos" (δρόμος; "race" or "course"). Some present-day horse racing tracks are also called hippodromes, for example the Central Moscow Hippodrome. The hippodrome corresponded to the Roman Circus, except that in the latter only four chariots ran at a time, whereas ten or more contended in the games, so that the width was far greater, being about 400 ft (120 m)., the course being 600 to 700 ft (210 m). long. The hippodrome was not a "Roman amphitheatre" which was used for spectator sports, games and displays, or a or Roman semi-circular theater used for theatrical performances.