In the first Air, the libertine Duke declares that one woman, to him, is as fair as the next.
He finds them all equally attractive, and must pay attention to each.
The second piece is a dream of Manon's lover. He sees her in her cottage in a wood-a lovely maid, surrounded by all Nature's loveliness. Then the beautiful vision alters, and Manon is no longer there. The dream is prophetic, for though he does not know it, in a few moments he and Manon are to be parted.
The hero of Aida is Radames, an Egyptian Captain, who is made leader of the Egyptian Army, and, when he returns victorious, is offered the hand of the King's daughter, who loves him. The tragedy which follows is due to the love which Radames and Aida, daughter of the captive Ethiopian King, bear for one another.
Radames sings Heavenly Aida near the beginning of the Opera. He dreams of his return, as victorious leader, to his beloved.
The first two Airs are two serenades sung by Count Almaviva to Rosina, the jealously guarded ward of Doctor Bartolo. The first air comes very soon after the opening of the Opera, at dawn outside Rosina's house.
The Second Air is the Count's response to Rosina's request that she may know the name of her lover.