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Aida


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.'

SYNOPSIS:

Place: Memphis and Thebes, Egypt
Time: During the reign of the pharaohs

ACT I:

(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.

ACT II

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.

ACT III

(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.

ACT IV

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.