In the course of a long life Giuseppe Verdi came to dominate Italian opera, after his first significant success with Nabucco in 1842. His Egyptian opera Aida was written for performance at the new Cairo opera house, which had opened with a performance of his opera Rigoletto. The story of the enslaved Ethiopian princess Aida and her love for the Egyptian hero Radamès, in rivalry with her mistress, the Egyptian princess Amneris, and the death of the first two, has some basis in the Hellenistic Aethiopica of Heliodorus, but was claimed as the original work of Auguste Mariette, known as Mariette Bey. It has been suggested that Temistocle Solera was responsible for the scenario, but if this was so, the fact was unknown to Verdi, who had quarrelled with Solera in 1846 over the libretto of his opera Attila. The text of Aida was by Antonio Ghislanzoni. The opera was staged in Cairo on Christmas Eve 1871 and at La Scala, Milan, in February 1872, in both places to very considerable acclaim.