Egypt and Ethiopia are at war. Radames is appointed commander of the Egyptian forces by the King, whose daughter, Amneris, loves Radames. It is in fact Amneris' Ethiopian slave Aida whom Radames loves. Ramades wins the war against the Ethiopians, capturing Aida's father Amonasro in the process. On his return to Egypt he faces a choice between marrying Amneris or betraying his country through his love for Aida. This new production was a triumphant success when it opened at La Scala in December 1985 and Luciano Pavarotti's long awaited performance as Radames, his first in Italy, was greeted with rapturous applause.