Polish premiere: 26 October 2019
Duration: 2hrs 35 mins (including an interval)
Recommended age: 10 and over
„Aida” is a musical with music by the pop legend Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, one of the best known musical theatre lyricists. The book was written by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang, and the original stage version was produced by Disney Theatrical Productions. The musical is set in ancient Egypt and tells the story of forbidden love between Aida, a Nubian princess taken into slavery by Egyptians, and Radames, captain of the Egyptian army, who is engaged to Amneris, the Pharaoh’s daughter. The book is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera by the same name.
The opening night on Broadway was 23 March 2000 and the show clocked up almost two thousand performances over four years. The musical won four Tony awards (including for best original score), and it was named by Time magazine as one of the top ten theatre productions in 2000. A review published by Entertainment Weekly stated “It’s a very moving and powerful story”.
After the Broadway opening night, the show was staged all over the globe – in Australia, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Canada, Korea, Japan, Peru, Switzerland, Hungary and Italy, to name just a few countries. But so far, “Aida” has not been performed in Poland. The Polish premiere in the ROMA Music Theatre is scheduled for 26 October 2019. An open audition was held in late March and early April, attracting almost five hundred candidates. A team of forty actors, singers and dancers was selected for the show as a result.
“Aida” by Elton John and Tim Rice is already the nineteenth musical premiere on ROMA MT’s Big Stage.
The AIDA musical is presented under an agreement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited, www.mtishows.eu
PRODUCERS ABOUT THE SHOW
Wojciech Kępczyński, Director:
I saw “Aida” on Broadway more than a decade ago and I liked it a lot, not just for the fantastic music, but also for the emotions it stirred. The show moves the audience with its perfectly built characters, the relations between them, and with the drama experienced by the three main figures. It is not just about the tormenting feelings, but also that they become pulled into a scheme behind the scenes in a race for power. We are going to be the first theatre to stage this show in Poland. I am very happy to be directing it, as it is an evergreen love story, just as timeless as Elton John’s music is.
Michał Wojnarowski, Translator:
Tim Rice, the author of the original book, is an icon of music theatre. He wrote lyrics for such hits as “The Lion King”, “Evita” or “Jesus Christ Superstar”. His writing is always very poetic and universal, and at the same time deeply relevant to plot of the show, helping us explore the emotions of its characters. The translation process was very smooth, because it is an excellent piece that somewhat carries the translator all the way through, and I think it is going to carry our actors, singers and musicians as well.
Jakub Lubowicz,Music director, conductor:
Elton John’s music reflects his very unique and individual pop style. But in “Aida”, we can also experience some reggae, gospel, rock and ethnic music. Let’s keep in mind that the record with the 2000 Broadway cast earned a Grammy Award. As usual, our performance will feature not only singing actors, but also a live orchestra.
Agnieszka Brańska, Choreography:
Until now, I have associated “Aida” mainly with the Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, although I saw the musical on Broadway. Certainly, apart from the plot it has nothing in common with Verdi’s masterpiece, and the varied pop score composed by Elton John dictates completely different aesthetics of movement. This diversity, coupled with the exotic settings, have inspired me as a choreographer to use a wide array of means of expression and dancing techniques.
Sebastian Gonciarz, Assistant director:
I really like how the musical’s phenomenally written plot develops, how the scenes are interrelated and how they intertwine. We will try to reflect this interpenetration by very fluid scene changes. Emotions conveyed by music and dialogues are the essence of this show, building up all the time until the dramatic finale.
Mariusz Napierała, Set designer:
Thinking of “Aida”, I focused on the sentence spoken in the finale, that the characters would be buried in Egyptian sands. Sand became for me the keyword in stage design. Its dynamic nature, and the associations with sand in an hourglass measuring the passage of time, are a unique inspiration in my search for formal associations. I wanted the theatre space in this show to be modern, but still infused with the spirit of the epoch.
Dorota Kołodyńska, costumes:
I am inspired by the art and authentic remnants of the material culture of ancient Egypt as well as the world of contemporary fashion, ranging from haute couture to pop culture. An extremely important role is played in my costumes by fabrics – transformed in highly creative, experimental ways. Various weaves will serve individual characters or groups as leitmotifs: for example, a simple weave in Aida’s linen dresses or distinctive crisscross weave in Radames’s uniforms. I will seek out fabrics whose texture and color bring to mind the visual effects of moving sand. Of course the costumes must also be comfortable and enable the performers to move freely, dance and sing.