Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida School Edition
The triumphant love story between an Egyptian prince and a slave transcends warring nations and brings a country together.
Restrictions may apply.
Show Essentials
8
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

In the Egyptian Wing of a major museum, a crowd admires artifacts from long ago. They gather around the most mysterious object, an ancient burial chamber. Two of the visitors, a handsome man and a beautiful woman, move toward the burial chamber as if they know its secrets. The man is Radames, the woman is Aida. Their eyes meet as a mannequin in Royal Egyptian dress comes to life. She is Amneris, an ancient Pharaoh. Amneris explains that "Every Story Is a Love Story."

Sails fly in as handsome Egyptian soldiers load the riches and spoils of war onto the deck of their ship. They celebrate their courage, along with their captain, Radames ("Fortune Favors the Brave"). They are interrupted by the entrance of Aida, the Nubian princess, and her handmaidens who have been captured as slaves and forced onto the ship. As Aida is put into shackles, she snatches a soldier's sword to challenge Radames. Not knowing that she is a princess, Radames recognizes something special in Aida. He begins to give into his feelings for her and, under the guise of seeing her as potentially dangerous, Radames escorts Aida to his personal berth in the ship's lower quarters.

Radames removes the manacles from Aida's wrists and boastfully gives her instructions in her new role as his slave. Aida rejects Radames' perspective of war, reminding him that the Egyptians have invaded her homeland and robbed her people of their culture. Aida reveals a longing for her life of freedom as she contemplates her past and the history of her people ("The Past Is Another Land"). To her dismay, Aida finds herself in Egypt as the ship docks and the slaves are unloaded.

Radames is congratulated on his bountiful return to Egypt by his Nubian servant, Mereb, and his father, Zoser, the Chief Minister. Zoser, upon seeing the slave women, suggests that they be sent to the deadly copper mines. Radames has another idea. The women's lives will be spared by using them in the harvest, and Aida will be a special gift to Amneris, the Princess of Egypt. Mereb, recognizing Aida's royal name, takes her away, leaving Radames with his father. Zoser explains that the Pharaoh's serious illness will force Radames to marry Princess Amneris sooner than he had planned, making Radames the King of Egypt ("Another Pyramid"). Zoser leaves to meet with the ministers of Egypt in the catacombs. The ministers suspect a traitor among them. Zoser orders the traitor's death and finalizes his plan for the rise of Radames.

Mereb prepares the beautiful Aida, dressed as a Palace Servant, to meet the Princess. He admits that he is also Nubian and knows she is the Nubian Princess ("How I Know You"). Aida asks him to keep her secret – if she is discovered, she will be put to death. Mereb reveals that the Princess Amneris is the betrothed of Radames.

Princess Amneris, flushed from her daily exercise, is surrounded by her doting handmaidens. Amneris is spoiled and complains that Radames has been gone too long. Mereb presents Aida as a gift from Radames. Aida's quick thinking and regal manner catch Amneris' attention. Aida boldly offers to make new clothing for Amneris, feeding her ego and placing her in close contact with the princess. As Mereb leads Aida to the sewing room, Amneris confesses that clothing in her life ("My Strongest Suit").

The Pharaoh's private banquet room is ablaze with activity. Radames, beginning to show feelings for Aida, questions Mereb about her. Amneris enters to greet him. To her horror, Aida discovers that the Nubian slaves have heard of her arrival – her secret is out among her people. The Pharaoh announces that, after his wedding to Amneris, Ramades will never leave the soil of Egypt again. Zoser's poison begins to take effect, and the Pharaoh coughs up blood. The banquet comes to a hasty conclusion. Zoser is giddy with the progress of his plan, but Radames is unhappy with the Pharaoh's announcement. What he loves most is journeying to new places ("Fortune Favors the Brave – Reprise"). After his father leaves, Radames, in a tender moment of unspoken love, calls Aida from the shadows and they discuss the joy of making new discoveries ("Enchantment Passing Through"). Radames is surprised by how easy it is for him to be himself with Aida.

Aida tends to Amneris in her dressing room. The two women discuss the demands of being a princess ("My Strongest Suit – Reprise"). Amneris is surprised by how well her new slave understands her troubles. They are interrupted by Radames, who suggests that Amneris meet him in her bedchambers. After Amneris leaves to prepare for a night with her fiancé, Radames reveals that he wanted Amneris out of the way so that he could question Aida about her past, in private. Just before Radames can confess his love to Aida, a furious Amneris enters. Radames walks out, upset.

Mereb tries to convince Aida to claim her role as Princess and go to the Nubian slaves to give them hope. Through her self-doubt, Aida accepts her place as the leader of her people ("The Dance of the Robe").

Radames discovers Aida at the Nile's edge, washing linen. He offers to make her life easier by elevating her position at the palace, but Aida refuses his offer and asks him to help all of the Nubian slaves. Radames is moved and, overcome with emotion, kisses Aida. He confesses his love for Aida to Mereb. Meanwhile, Amneris vows to make things right with Radames ("Not Me").

Amneris asks Aida, as a friend, to apologize to Radames for her. Aida tries to carry out the wishes of Amneris, denying her own feelings for Radames, but he confesses his love for her and tells her that he will not marry Amneris ("Elaborate Lives"). He gives Aida his amulet, promising that it will give her free passage and protect her. War drums interrupt their embrace, and a soldier enters to announce that the Nubian King has been captured. His excitement about this development in the war against her country horrifies Aida, who cannot tell Radames that the King is her father. As the news of the King's capture spreads through the Nubian slave camp, Aida tries to lead her people from despair ("The Gods Love Nubia").

Act Two

Alone in their thoughts, Amneris wonders why Radames will not show her the attention that she deserves, Radames confesses that his love for Aida could end his life as he knows it, and Aida weighs her love for Radames against her love for her people ("A Step Too Far").

Mereb bribes a prison guard, allowing Aida to speak with her father, King Amonasro. The three devise a plan: during the wedding, the Pharaoh's guards will be busy at the palace, and Mereb believes that he can bribe the prison guard to let King Amonasro escape. The docks are heavily guarded by Radames' soldiers, but Aida explains that the soldiers will let them pass if she shows them the amulet that Radames gave her. She also reveals her true feelings for Radames. The King commands Aida to forget Radames forever – their love can never be. Alone in her thoughts, Aida reveals that forgetting her love is an impossible task ("Easy as Life").

Zoser shows Amneris a giant map of the Nile and explains the latest campaigns of the Egyptian army. Amneris misses Radames, but Zoser assures her that a little loneliness is small price to pay when compared with the gains that Egypt makes on its campaigns. Radames enters and asks Amneris to leave him alone with his father, which she sees as yet another rejection. Zoser reveals that he knows of Radames' feelings for Aida. Radames says that he cares nothing for the throne – he is not power-hungry like his father – but Zoser insists that they are more alike than he thinks ("Like Father, Like Son"). Zoser and his ministers plan to kill Aida to rid Radames of any further distraction.

Radames apologizes to Aida and confesses his love in a note ("Radames' Letter"). Mereb and the Nubians come to wish Aida well on her escape, planned for the following day ("Dance of the Robe – Reprise"). Guards storm the encampment in search of Aida. Nehebka steps forward and claims that she is Aida. They drag her away in Aida's place. Horrified, Aida realizes that she must go to Radames and tell him who she really is. Mereb tries to convince her to stay ("How I Know You – Reprise").

Aida finds Radames walking along the Nile. He tells her that he plans to call off the wedding, but Aida, realizing that his plan will jeopardize her father's escape, begs him to reconsider. Aida explains why she and Radames can never have a life together ("Written in the Stars"). Radames finally accepts that he and Aida can never be together and assures Aida that he will arrange for her safe passage back to Nubia. As the lovers depart, Amneris emerges from the shadows. She has seen and heard everything ("I Know the Truth").

The Royal Wedding is interrupted by the announcement that the Nubian King has escaped. Radames seals off the docks in an effort to allow Aida to escape.

A small boat floats at the water's edge, tied to the dock by a heavy rope. Mereb helps King Amonasro into the boat. knowing that the Egyptians have sounded the alarm. Radames enters and accuses Aida of pretending to love him to arrange this escape with her father, the King. Aida explains that she truly loves Radames, just as Zoser enters to stop the escape. A fight erupts, wherein Zoser stabs Mereb. Radames, in a move to save Nubia, cuts the rope, allowing King Amonasro to be swept to away to his kingdom on the fast current of the Nile. Aida is left on the docks with Mereb dying in her arms.

Radames and Aida appear in chains. Amneris begs Radames to reject Aida to save himself, but he refuses. The Pharaoh enters and announces that Zoser has been apprehended. He sentences Radames and Aida to death. Amneris convinces the Pharaoh to bury Radames and together in one tomb. Alone in the darkness of their cell, Aida and Radames contemplate their lives ("Elaborate Lives – Reprise"). They promise to find each other in the next life ("Finale").

Back in the museum, in modern times, the crowd gathers. The handsome man and beautiful woman circle the model of the tomb. They look up and their eyes meet. They move towards one another.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Ethnic Roles
Dance Requirements: Heavy

Character Breakdown

Amneris
A beautiful and materialistic Egyptian Princess who is the betrothed of Captain Radames. Daughter of the Pharaoh.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Radames
An Egyptian Captain and the son of Zoser. A strong, handsome, adventurous soldier who falls in love with Aida.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 28
Vocal range top: Ab5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Aida
A beautiful, brave Nubian Princess who is loyal to her people but is torn between her heritage and love for an Egyptian Captain. Daughter of King Amonasro.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Mereb
A young Nubian slave and servant to Radames. He is faithful to his Nubian heritage and befriends Aida upon her arrival to Egypt.
Gender: male
Age: 16 to 21
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Zoser
The manipulative and evil Chief Minister hungry for power. He attempts to poison the Pharaoh and is father to Radames.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Pharaoh
The Leader of Egypt and father to Amneris. An older, distinguished gentleman.
Gender: male
Age: 55 to 65
Nehebka
A Nubian slave who is friendly with Aida. She creates a robe for the Nubian Princess.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 35
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Amonasro
An honorable and peaceful man who is imprisoned by Egypt. The King of Nubia and father to Aida.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Ensemble
Ministers; Soldiers; Egyptian Men; Palace Women; Nubians; Guards
Full Song List
Aida School Edition: Another Pyramid
Aida School Edition: Every Story Is A Love Story
Aida School Edition: Fortune Favors The Brave
Aida School Edition: The Past Is Another Land
Aida School Edition: How I Know You
Aida School Edition: My Strongest Suit
Aida School Edition: Fortune Favors The Brave (Reprise)
Aida School Edition: Enchantment Passing Through
Aida School Edition: My Strongest Suit (Reprise)
Aida School Edition: Dance Of The Robe
Aida School Edition: Not Me
Aida School Edition: Elaborate Lives
Aida School Edition: The Gods Love Nubia
Aida School Edition: A Step Too Far
Aida School Edition: Easy As Life
Aida School Edition: Like Father, Like Son
Aida School Edition: Radames's Letter
Aida School Edition: How I Know You (Reprise)
Aida School Edition: Written In The Stars
Aida School Edition: I Know The Truth
Aida School Edition: Elaborate Lives (Reprise)
Aida School Edition: Finale

Show History

Inspiration

Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is based on Giuseppe Verdi's 1871 opera of the same name. The musical originated from a children's storybook version of Verdi's opera. The rights were acquired by Disney studios for a proposed animated feature film. Development on the film was shelved, however, and the source material evolved into the stage version. A first reading was presented to Disney executives on April 1, 1996. It took three years from conception to mount the first full-scale production in 1998.

Productions

Aida features music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang. The first version of Aida was originally titled Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida and had its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The production ran from September 16, 1998, to November 8, 1998. The Atlanta production featured Heather Headley as Aida, Hank Stratton as Radames and Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris. A new, revised production opened on November 12, 1999, at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago and ran through January 9, 2000. Adam Pascal joined the cast as Radames for the Chicago run. The musical, now renamed Aida, made its Broadway premiere at the Palace Theater on March 23, 2000, and closed on September 4, 2004, after 30 previews and 1,852 performance. Aida also received a critically acclaimed National Tour from 2001 to 2003.

Cultural Influence

  • The musical has been translated into fourteen different languages, including Japanese, Croatian and Hebrew.
  • The musical has had productions in over 20 countries worldwide.

Trivia

  • Celebrities like Deborah Cox, Toni Braxton and Michelle Williams once played the title role of Aida during its original Broadway run.
  • In 1999, Elton John produced a concept album of Aida, with such pop stars as Janet Jackson and the Spice Girls.
  • Aida's Broadway run ranks as #34 on the list of Broadway's longest runs.

Critical Reaction

"Aida is a helluva good time."
– Entertainment Weekly

"Does Aida excite, warm, and touch the audiences who see it? Absolutely."
– talkinbroadway.com

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
The (Licensee)
(50%)
Production of
Elton John and Tim Rice's
(33%)
AIDA School Edition
( 100% )
 
Music by
Lyrics by
ELTON JOHN
(50%)
TIM RICE
(50%)
Book by
LINDA WOOLVERTON
(50%)
and
ROBERT FALLS & DAVID HENRY HWANG
(50%)
 
Originally Directed on Broadway by Robert Falls
(40%)
 
Originally Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions
(50%)
 
You may NOT duplicate the Broadway logo or title unless you have licensed it from MTI. Your credit and the authors credits shall NOT be LESS than 50% of the size of the title, and the credit to Robert Falls as director shall NOT be Less than 40% of the size of the title.You are futher prohibited from copying or otherwise using any costume or character designs, artwork or other intellectual property from the Broadway play.
*SIGNED RIDER MUST BE RETURNED WITH PRODUCTION CONTRACT IN ORDER TO PROCESS*
The billing to you must be in the form specified above, including the words “Production of” below your billing, which shall be visually contiguous with the title, all so that the audience is informed that you are the producer. Your billing shall be no less than 50% of the size of the logo or artwork title, as measured by the proportion of the average size of your name to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title. In no event may you duplicate the Broadway logo or title unless you separately license the Broadway logo.  If you do separately license the right to use the Broadway logo, then you shall duplicate such logo and billing credits exactly as provided, including the fonts.  
(For professional licensees): If you elect not to purchase the Broadway logo, then you shall submit your logo or artwork title for approval by Disney prior to any public use thereof. The size of the possessory credit to Elton John and Tim Rice above the title shall be no less than 33% of the logo or artwork title.  The size of credits below the title to the authors and to Disney Theatrical Productions shall be no less than 50% of the regular title, and if there is no regular title, then no less than 20% of the artwork or logo title.  The size of the credit to Robert Falls as the original director  shall be no less than 40% of the regular title, and if there is no regular title, then no less than 16% of the artwork or logo title, but in all events 80% of the size of the below the title credit to the authors and Disney Theatrical Productions.  Notwithstanding the provisions above, the credits to Disney Theatrical Productions and to Robert Falls shall only appear on the title page of the program.  You are further prohibited from copying or otherwise using any costume designs, character designs, artwork or other intellectual property from the Broadway play.  A sample of appropriate billing size and placement is attached hereto for your reference (without constituting a grant of rights in the Broadway logo).
Short Billing to be used for all Posters, Print Ad’s and Leaflets:
The (Licensee)
(50%)
Production of
Elton John and Tim Rice's
(33%)
AIDA School Edition
(100%)
 
Music by
Lyrics by
Elton John
(50%)
Tim Rice
(50%)
Book by
Linda Woolverton
(50%)
and
Robert Falls & David Henry Hwang
(50%)

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
DIRECTOR'S SCRIPT1
ENHANCED STUDY GUIDE1
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 12
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 22

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT RECORDING
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSAL ACCOMPANIMENT RECORDING
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
CELLO
DRUMS
GUITARELECTRIC GUITAR , NYLON ACOUSTIC GTR. , STEEL ACOUSTIC GTR.
GUITAR 2ACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
KEYBOARD 3
PERCUSSION
REED 1ALTO FLUTE , BIG BAMBOO FLUTE (F), BIG BAMBOO FLUTE (G), FLUTE , SMALL BAMBOO FLUTE
REED 2ENGLISH HORN , OBOE
VIOLA
VIOLIN(2 PLAYERS MINIMUM)