Wednesday, October 2, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 2

Aida (2000)

Original Broadway Soundtrack

Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Tim Rice

Plot summary: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is based on the opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi. Aida is taken to Egypt as a slave and Radames, who is next in line to become Pharaoh, falls in love with her not knowing she is actually a princess in her native land. However, it has already been arranged that Radamnes is to marry Amneris and Radamnes's father Chief Minister Zoser, does not approve of Radamnes's feelings for Aida.

In auditions you always tend to get someone singing Aida. The musical does have some great (albeit over-done) songs for a mezzo/belter and I guess the reason why I have brushed past this musical every other time is because I know there isn't anything there for my voice range. However, listening to the whole thing, I found myself really enjoying the soundtrack as a whole and it's definitely staying as a playlist on my Spotify.
I found out that Disney originally intended to make an animated film out of Aida as The Lion King had been such a success and this is why there are certain similarities between the scores of these two titles. Aida, like The Lion King, contains a mixture of music of different styles and from different cultures. You get the reggae, the Motown sound as well as the Egyptian feel (would've been a bit strange if that had been missing, right?). As a whole, the score has a popular music feel to it. Since I have not seen the show on stage, I am not in the position to comment on how the Ancient Egypt mixes with this music but judging by the popularity of the show both professionally and on the amateur stage, at least something must have gone right. 
Out of the songs I particularly enjoyed Enchantment Passing Through and Written in the Stars. They both are lovely duets between Aida and Radames. The album contains a fair few duets as there are only the two principal roles and two supporting main roles with all other parts being cameo ones. A number of the songs on this soundtrack were already released on the concept album of Aida in 1999, sung by accomplished artists such as Sting, Spice Girls and Heather Headley who ended up playing Aida in the original Broadway production. Written in the Stars was sung by Elton John and LeAnn Rimes on the concept album and it shot up to the top of the charts. 

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