Aida: the vulgarity of triumph and an extreme case of the Stockholm syndrome. Not to mention (in the case of Radames) really, really bad work-life balance.
The production of Aida I'd like to see would be one set on an early slave plantation (maybe around Memphis?) with Aida as the young girl sold into slavery, Amneris as the plantation owner's daughter, Radames as (initially) her beau and Amonasro as the leader of a slave revolt . The whole thing preferably directed by Julie Taymor. If you think about it, it's actually fascinating how well that would work.
Isn't we've-been-buried-alive sex the best sex ever?
Just got back from a performance of Aida by the Minnesota Orchestra. A fine performance on the whole, though I think an opera loses something in being performed in concert rather than being fully staged, and that's particularly true of Aida with its rousing crowd scenes . The soloists in general did a good job, though Carl Tanner did manage to show me a whole range of comic possibilities in the role of Ramades that I'd never seen before. But the star of the show was indisputably Latonia Moore, whose Aida was perfection itself.
 Actually, come to think of it, you could combine Aida with Gone With the Wind, with Scarlett = Amneris, Ashley = Ramades and Melanie = Aida. Can't you just see Olivia de Havilland singing O Patria Mia?
 It didn't help that for some reason they decided to have the chorus come and go in the middle of the performance. I assume this was supposed to make the concert more exciting, but on the whole it was more of a distraction. It's a lot harder to take Amneris' final protests over Ramades' fate seriously when you're watching three dozen men in tuxedos scrambling awkwardly to get into position behind her.