Grand opera is all about lavish spectacle: spectacular scenery, eye-popping costumes, soaring voices, royal passions, and titanic suffering. Or to put it more succinctly, grand opera is Giuseppe Verdi’s Aïda. Celebrating Verdi’s 200th birthday just nine days late, Opera Carolina brings the Italian master’s grandest work to Belk Theater this Saturday night for a nicely-spaced three-performance run that will allow the singers to recover from their epic exertions. Othalie Graham plays the title soprano role, the Ethiopian princess who captivates her captor, Radames, and tenor Antonello Palombi is the Egyptian general who tosses away a kingdom for the love of Aïda. The toss-ee is Amneris, the future queen of Egypt, played by mezzo Irina Mishura, who is unaccustomed to rejection — and a newcomer to jealousy. Op Carolina maestro James Meena conducts Aïda, directed by Brian Deedrick. With some twerking reported at this production when it played Toledo two weeks ago, tickets may become as hot as the action. For more information, visit www.operacarolina.org.