Italy's famous La Scala opera house has kicked off its season with a production of Verdi's Aida.
The production is directed by Franco Zeffirelli - returning to the Milan opera house after a 14-year absence.
Aida tells the story of Radames, the Egyptian commander who must choose between his love for the slave Aida and his loyalty to the Pharaoh.
Zeffirelli has claimed that it is the best production of the opera that La Scala has ever seen.
Some 200kg of gold dust went into Tutankhamen's mask which dominates the stage.
Four hundred costumes have been created for the cast and 100 musicians are playing the score.
Opening night attracted many VIPs, including Italian fashion house heiress Donatella Versace and British actor Rupert Everett.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre) attended the performance as the guest of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Here they join Milan's mayor Letizia Moratti.