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Author John Cech
Air Date 6/2/2000

Aida Transcript

Before Aida became a Disney musical on Broadway this spring, it was, of course, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi; and before it becomes a Disney cartoon (which shouldn’t be too far away), you might want to have your children hear the story and some highlights of its spectacular music on a new CD that features one of opera’s most famous Aidas, the great African-American soprano Leontyne Price. The disc is the natural extension of the award-winning picture book for young people that Miss Price authored a number of years ago with the illustrations of Leo and Diane Dillon because the only thing missing from that project was Verdi’s music.

Brief sound clip from “Aida.”

Now, that music is here, in all its powerful glory, wound into Miss Price’s narration of the story of Aida, the Ethiopian princess who is captured by Egyptian soldiers and given as a slave to Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris. No one at court knows Aida’s true identity, least of all Radames, the Egyptian army captain who immediately falls in love with her and she with him. But this is the easy part, because soon there will be no peace for Radames and Aida, as their lives get more and more tragically complicated, and Radames is sent by Pharaoh to lead the army that is meant to conquer her country, and Amneres discovers that Radames and Aida have fallen in love, and the Ethiopian army , with Aida’s father, King Amonasro in command, attacks Egypt. And while this is happening…

Brief sound clip.

But enough of my summaries. You and your youngsters can hear for yourselves how this moving story plays out.

Posted in Music