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On Stage

Star-Crossed Lovers In Egypt

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Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida places the age-old tale of star-crossed lovers in ancient Egypt. Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida also tells the story of the military commander who is torn between his allegiance to the Pharaoh and his love for a beautiful Ethiopian princess, but in the form of contemporary musical theatre.

One of the more remarkable aspects of the musical Aida is that it was based on a book for children, adapted from the Verdi opera by that powerhouse of the opera world, soprano Leontyne Price. When Disney acquired the rights to the book in 1994, the company hoped to make it into an animated film, featuring music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. The recent success of The Lion King had convinced Disney that the duo could deliver—but Elton John wanted a new challenge. It was his idea to adapt the book into a musical.

The show premiered on Broadway in the year 2000. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, and won four of them, including one for Best Musical Score. Elton John brought a variety of musical influences to bear on his compositions, including gospel, reggae and his signature pop.

Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is on stage at Century II from June 10th through the 14th, thanks to the good people at Music Theatre Wichita. Season tickets are gone, but single tickets are available now.