Daniele Gatti conducts Stephen Pickover's staging of Verdi, starring Violeta Urmana as the enslaved Ethiopian princess, Dolora Zajick as her rival and Johan Botha as Radames, the commander of the Egyptian army. Aida, a Nubian slave girl, and Amneris, the King's wilful daughter, both fall in love with Egyptian general Radames who will lead the King's army against the Ethiopians. Radames returns from war, triumphant, but among his prisoners is Aida's father, Amonasro, who has managed to conceal his true identity as the King of the Ethiopians. Espying his daughter, Amonasro persuades her to go to Radames and to use her feminine wiles to trick him into revealing his battle plans. Aida's love and respect for her father is strong so she goes along with his wishes, sealing Radames' fate.