This movie was originally going to be a feature full-length
animated movie until production was suddenly stopped in
the Spring of 1997. Although Aida was stopped as a full-length
animated movie it is now a Broadway musical now at the New
Amsterdam theaters in New York City, New York. For the Broadway
musical, Elton John and Tim Rice, The team behind the music of
'The Lion King', have teamed up again for the music for Aida.
Verdi's opera 'Aida' tells the story of the fatal love affair
between the Egyptian war hero Radames and the captured slave
girl Aida. Jarrod Emick, who won a Tony for `Damn Yankees,' will play
Radames. The title character Aida has been offered to Audra McDonald,
who's currently doing `Master Class' and won a Tony for `Carousel.'
Place: Memphis and Thebes, Egypt
Time: During the reign of the pharaohs
(Hall in the royal palace at Memphis, ancient Egypt) The
high priest Ramfis tells the young warrior Radames that
Egypt is threatened by war with the Ethiopians and that
the goddess Isis has named the man who will lead the armies
of Egypt against the invaders. Left alone, Radames expresses
his hopes that he will be the one chosen and reflects on his
love for the slave girl Aida (Celeste Aida). He is approached
by the princess Amneris whose thinly veiled remarks make it
clear that she loves Radames and suspects she has a rival.
Aida enters and her anxiety soon makes it clear to Amneris
who her rival is.
The king and his retinue enter. A Messenger comes to tell
of the boarder attacks by the Ethiopians led by their king
Amonasro (who, unknown to the Egyptians, is Aida's father).
The king reveals that Radames is to lead Egypt's armies.
Aida reflects in horror in having joined in the cries of
victory (Ritorna vincitor!), wishing her lover's victory
over her own father and people.
Scene 1 (Amneris' apartments in Thebes). Amneris is
preparing for Radames' victorious return. Aida enters.
Amneris feigns sympathy for the slave girl because of
the defeat of her people. She tricks Aida into admitting
her secret love by pretending that Radames has been
killed in battle. Amneris reveals the truth and threatens
Aida as her rival. Aida pleads that Amneris is powerful
while all she has is her love (Pieta ti prenda).
Scene 2 (An open square by the gates of Thebes). The
victorious Egyptian army returns to great adulation as
the people sing a hymn to Egypt and Isis (Gloria all
'Egitto). The Ethiopian prisoners are brought in. Among
the prisoners, Aida recognizes her father who tells her
not to reveal that he is actually the Ethiopian king.
Radames asks the king to be merciful toward the prisoners
(Ma tu, Re). Ramfis and the priests insist the Ethiopians
must be eliminated but Radames continues to ask for mercy.
Finally, Ramfis requests that Aida and her father, at
least, be kept as hostages (Ascolta, o Re). The compromise
is accepted and the king announces the betrothal of Amneris
and Radames. The scene concludes as Amneris relishes her
triumph; Aida bemoans her loss of love; Radames ponders
the situation he has been placed in--he cannot refuse to
marry Amneris without offending the king; and Amonasro
tells Aida that Ethiopia's fortunes will soon change.
(The banks of the Nile by night). Voices of people in
prayer drift out from the temple of Isis. Amneris arrives
at the temple with Ramfis who tells her to pray for the
goddess' favor. Aida appears, Radames has agreed to meet
her, if he fails to show up, she vows to throw herself in
the river. She sings of her homeland (O patria mia).
Amonasro steps out of the shadows, telling her she can
defeat her rival and see her homeland again if she can get
Radames to reveal which road the Egyptian troops plan to
take in their next campaign. Aida is hesitant at first but
Amonasro accuses her of being disloyal and describes the
inevitable destruction of Ethiopia is she fails to cooperate.
He hides as Radames appears. Aida asks Radames how he can
love her when he is marrying Amneris. He tells her that
war has erupted again, that he will once again lead the
Egyptian forces, and that when he returns victorious, he
will be able to ask for her hand as a reward. She suggests
they flee together to her native land. When Radames recoils
at the suggestion, she accuses him of not loving her.
He agrees to her plan. She asks him what road would be the
safest to take to avoid running into troops and he replies
that the troops will pass through the Napata gorge. Amonasro
jumps out from his hiding place and Radames realizes what
he has done. When all three attempt to flee, Ramfis emerges
from the temple with Amneris and orders Radames arrested as
Amonasro and Aida make their escape.
Scene 1 (A hall in the palace). Amneris paces nervously
knowing Radames faces judgement. He is led in and she urges
him to defend himself, saying she will use her influence
to save him if he will marry her. He refuses saying life
has no meaning for him without Aida. Radames is led
away. The charges against Radames read to him, but each
time the priests ask him to defend himself, he says nothing.
They find him guilty and condemn him to be entombed alive
below the "altar of the outraged god".
Scene 2 (The temple of Ptah). The priests place a heavy
stone over the tomb in which Radames has been placed.
Radames senses there is someone else in the tomb with
him and realizes it is Aida. He laments that she too must
die, but she, light-headed from the lack of air, says
she sees the angel of death who will liberate them to
immortal love. The two doomed lovers bid farewell to
earth as Amneris, kneeling above the tomb above them,
prays for peace.