Aida, The First International Clay Animation Movie of the famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi
Aida, The First International Clay Animation Movie of the famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi Aida, The First International Clay Animation Movie of the famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi

Home > Libretto in English

>> Libretto in Italian

Libretto in English

The action takes place at Memphis and Thebes in the time of the Pharaohs.

In a hall in the Palace of the Pharaoh at Memphis the High Priest Ramphis tells Radames that the Ethiopians are threatening to invade Egypt and that the goddess Isis, having been consulted, has already indicated the future leader of the Egyptian armies. Once alone Radames dreams of being the chosen chief so that he may return victoriously into the arms of his beloved, the Ethiopian slave Aida. The Pharaoh's daughter Amneris, who is in love with Radames, enters and asks him the reason of his strange expression. The young man informs her about the imminent war and the eventuality for him to take command. Then Aida comes and Amneris, suspecting that her slave is a rival in love, decides to take her revenge, though pretending to be friendly to Aida. The Pharaoh with his court now enters. A messenger reports that the Ethiopians, under the leadership of the King Amonasro, have in fact invaded the country and are marching to Thebes. The Pharaoh reveals that the chosen warrior chief is Radames. Amneris hands him a standard wishing him a glorious victory. While the court retires, Aida remains alone, torn between contrasting emotions: her love for Radames and the loyalty to her father Amonasro and her country.

[ Back to Top ]


A hall in the Palace of the Pharaoh at Memphis. To the right and left colonnades with statues and flowering shrubs. At the back a magnificent gateway, through which may be seen the temples and palaces of Memphis, and the Pyramids.

Radames and Ramphis.

Yes, it is rumoured that the Ethiop dares once again
threaten our power in the valley of Nilus,
as well as at Thebes. The truth from
messengers I soon shall know.

Hast thou consulted
the will of Isis?

She hath declared
who of Egypt's renowned
armies shall be leader.

O happy mortal!

(Looking significantly at Radames)
Young in years is he and dauntless.
The dread commandment I to the King shall take.
(Ramphis goes out)

What if 'tis I am chosen,
and my dream be now accomplished.
Of glorious army
I the chosen leader - mine glorious victory -
by Memphis received in triumph!
To thee returned, Aida, my brow entwined with laurel,
tell thee, for thee I battled, for thee I conquered.
Heavenly Aida, beauty resplendent,
radiant flower blooming and bright;
queenly thou reignest o'er me transcendent,
bathing my spirit in beauty's light.
Would that thy bright skies once more beholding,
breathing the soft airs of thy native land;
round thy fair brow a diadem folding,
thine were a throne next the sun to stand.
(Amneris enters)

In thy visage I trace
a joy unwonted! What martial ardour
is beaming in thy noble glances!
Ah me, how worthy were of all envy
the woman whose dearly wished for presence
could have power to kindle in thee such rapture.

A dream of proud ambition
in my heart I was nursing. Isis this day
has declared by name warrior chief appointed
to lead to battle Egypt's hosts; ah, for this honour
say what if I were chosen!

Has not another vision,
one more sweet, more enchanting,
found favour in your heart? Is there in Memphis
no attraction more charming?

I!. (Fatal question!)
(Has she the secret yearning
divined within me burning?
Have then these eyes betrayed me
and told Aida's name?)

(Ah, woe, my love if spurning,
his heart to another were turning,
woe if hope should false have played me,
and unrequited prove my flame!)
(Aida is seen approaching)

(Taken by surprise)

(He is troubled. ne'er lover
gazed with more raptured eyes!
Aida! Should I discover
one who with me now vies?)
(After a short pause turning to Aida)
Come hither thou I dearly prize,
slave art thou none, nor menial;
thee have I made by fondest ties
sister, a name more genial.
Weepest thou? The secret let me know,
wherefore thy tears now flow.

Alas! The cry of war I hear,
vast host I see assemble,
therefor the country's fate I fear,
for me, for all I tremble.

And art thou sure no deeper woe
now bids thy tears to flow?
(Aida casts down her eyes and hides her emotion.)
(Amneris aside, regarding Aida)
(Tremble, o thou base vassal,
lest thy secret stain is detected!
All in vain thou would'st dissemble,
by tear and blush betrayed!


('Tis not fate o'er Egypt looming
weighs downs on my heart dejected,
I wept that love thus was dooming,
to woe a hapless maid.)



(Regarding Amneris)
(Regarding Amneris)
(Her glance with anger flashing
proclaims our love suspected,
woe if my hopes all dashing,
she mar the plans I've laid.)
(The Pharaoh enters, preceded by his guards and followed by Ramphis, his Ministers, Priests, Captains and Courtiers).
The Pharaoh
Mighty the cause that summons
round the King the faithful sons of Egypt.
From the Ethiops' land a messenger
this moment has reached us, news of grave import
brings he. be pleased to hear him!
(To an Officer)
Bring the news-hearer forward!
The sacred limits of Egyptian soil
is by Ethiops invaded, our fertile fields
lie all devastated, destroyed our harvest.
Emboldened by so easy a victory the plundering hordes
to the capital are marching.
Presumptuous daring!
They are led by a warrior as fierce
as he is dauntless: Amonasro.
The King!
(My father!)
All Thebes has risen, and from her hundred portals
has poured on the invader a torrent fierce,
fraught with relentless carnage.
The Pharaoh
Yes, death and battle be our rallying cry!
Battle, battle!
The Pharaoh
And carnage, war unrelenting!
(Addressing Radames)
Isis, revered goddess,
already has appointed the warrior chief,
with power supreme invested.
Ye Gods, I thank you!
My dearest wish is crowned!
(Our leader!)
(I tremble)
The Pharaoh
Now unto the holy temple,
warrior brave, there to gird thee to victory,
donning sacred armour.
Up, Egyptians brave,
guard the shores of Nilus' sacred river,
unto death the foe deliver,
Egypt they never shall enslave.
Glory render, glory abiding,
to our Gods all mortals guiding;
peace or war alone deciding,
their protection let us crave.
Ministers and Captains
Up, Egyptians brave,
guard the shores of Nilus' sacred river,
unto death the foe deliver,
Egypt they never shall enslave.
Glory's sacred thirst now claims me,
only war alone inflames me,
on to victory, naught we stay for,
death and battle we'll wreak on the foe!
(Presenting a standard to Radames)
From my hand, thou warrior glorious,
take thy standard aye victorious,
let it ever lead the way
for thy opponent's overthrow.
Whom to weep for? Whom to pray for?
Ah! What power to him now binds me,
doomed to love him though all reminds me
that I love my country's foe!
Battle, battle, we'll hunt the invader down!
On! Radames, thy brow may laurels crown!
(All go out except Aida!)
Thy brow may laurels crown! What! Can my lips
pronounce language so impious? Wish him victor
o'er my father. o'er him who wages war
but that I may be restored to my country,
to my kingdom, to the high station.
I now perforce dissemble! Wish him conqueror
o'er my brothers! E'en now I see him stained
with their blood so cherished, 'mid the
clamorous triumph of Egyptian battalions!
Behind his chariot a king, my father comes,
his fettered captive!
Ye Gods watching o'er me,
those words deem unspoken;
a father restore me,
his daughter heart-broken;
oh, scatter their armies,
for ever crush our foe!
What wild words do I utter? Of my affection
have I no recollection?
That sweet love that consoled me, a captive pining,
like some bright sunny ray on my sad lot shining!
Shall I invoke destruction on the man
for whom with love I languish?
Ah! Ne'er yet on this earth lived one
whose heart was crushed beneath such anguish!
The names so holy of father, of lover,
no more dare I utter or e'en recall,
abashed and trembling, to Heaven fain would hover
my prayers for both, for both my tears would fall.
Ah, woe! Transformed seem my prayers to blaspheming,
to suffer is a crime, dark sin to weep,
my senses lost, wrapt in deep night are dreaming,
to my grave would in sorrow I might creep.
Merciful Gods, look from on high!
Pity these tears hopelessly shed,
love, mystic power, mystic and dread,
break my weak heart, let me now die!

[ Back to Top ]


In the temple of Vulcan priests and priestesses are praying the god Ftah, the animating spirit of the world. Radames arrives to be invested with the sacred weapons, while Ramphis invokes divine protection among mystic dances and sacred hymns.

The interior of the Temple at Memphis. A mysterious light from above. A long row of columns, one behind the other vanishing into the distance. Statues of various Deities. In the middle of the stage, above a platform covered with carpets, rises the altar, surmounted with sacred emblems. From golden tripods rise the fumes of incense.
Ramphis stands at the foot of the altar, surrounded by Priests. The singing of the Priestesses to the sound of the harp is heard from within.
Hail mighty Phta! That wakes
in all things breathing life,
Lo! We invoke thee!
Hail mighty Phta! That makest
all fruitful things grow rife,
Lo! We invoke thee!
Flame, uncreated, eternal!
Fount of all light above,
Lo! We invoke thee!
Hail! Thou who madest all things created,
earth, water, heaven,
Lo! We invoke thee!
Thou who of thine own nature
art son as well as sire,
Lo! we invoke thee!
Life-giver universal,
great gift of boundless love,
Lo! We invoke thee!
(Radames enters unarmed. While he is proceeding to the altar the Priestesses enter and perform a sacred dance. A silver veil is placed on the head of Radames).
(To Radames)
To thee, god-favoured mortal, is now confided
all the welfare of Egypt. Thy weapon tempered,
by hand immortal, in thy grasp is destined
to deal on thy foes ruin and carnage.
(Turning to the God)
Hear us, o guardian deity,
our sacred land protecting,
thy mighty hand extending,
danger from Egypt ward!
Lord, o'er each mortal destiny,
war's dreadful course directing,
aid unto Egypt sending,
keep o'er her children guard!
(Radames is now invested with the sacred armour. The Priests and Priestesses intone again the Hymn to Phta and the mystic dance is renowed).

Amneris is dressing for the celebration of Radames' victory. Aida enters carrying the crown and Amneris informs her of the defeat of the Ethiopian forces. In order to prove her suspicion, the princess also tells Aida that Radames has died on the battlefield. On hearing this, Aida breaks into an anguished cry: then Amneris, realizing that her suspicion is founded, reveals that Radames is alive and that herself, the Pharaoh's daughter, loves the warrior. Aida, in an outburst of pride, claims her own royal blood but soon afterwards she repents of it and begs for mercy. Amneris, devoured by anger and jealousy, threatens revenge on the slave.

[ Back to Top ]


A Hall in the Apartments of Amneris. Amneris surrounded by female Slaves, who are engaged in attiring her for the festivity to celebrate the victory of Radames. From the tripods perfume vapours rise. Moorish Slave Boys dance and wave feather fans.

Heavenward waft a name
whose deeds the sun outblazing
eclipse his dazzling flame.
Our songs his glory praising,
come, bind thy flowing tresses round with laurel and with flowers,
while loud our songs of praise resound
to celebrate Love's powers.

(Come, love, with rapture fill me,
to joy my heart restore!)
Ah! Where are now the foes who dared
Egypt's brave sons attack?
As doves are by the eagle scared,
our warriors drove them back.
Now wreaths of triumph glorious
the victor's brow shall crown,
and love o'er him victorious
shall smooth his warlike frown.

(Come, love, let thy voice trill me
with accents dear once more).
Ah, cease now, 'tis Aida who this way advances,
child of the conquered, to me her grief is sacred.
(At a sign from Amneris the slaves retire as Aida enters)
Once more to see her
my soul again with doubt is tortured.
Thy dread secret at last shall be surrendered!
(To Aida, with counterfeited affection)
'Neath the chances of battle succumb thy people,
o hapeless Aida; the sorrows that afflict thee
be sure I feel as keenly; my heart towards thee yearns fondly:
ask what thou will of me, thy days shall be happy.

Ah, how can I be happy
far from my native country, where I can never
know what fate has befallen father and brothers?

Deeply you move me, yet no human sorrow
is lasting here below. Time will bring comfort
and heal your present anguish.
Greater than time the healing power of love.

(Aside, much moved)
(Oh, love, sweet power! Oh, joy, tormenting!
Rapturous madness, bliss fraught with woes,
thy pangs most cruel, a life contenting,
thy smiles enchanting bright heaven disclose!)

(Aside, looking intently at Aida)
(Yon deadly pallor, her bosom panting,
tell of love's passion, tell of love's woes;
her heart to question, courage is wanting,
my bosom feels of her torture the throes.
(Aloud to Aida)
Nay, tell me then what new-fledged love
assails my gentle Aida?
Unbosom all thy secret thoughts,
come, trust securely in my affection;
amongst the warriors who fought
fatally against thy country
it may be one that has wakened
in thee gentle thoughts of love.

What meanest thou?

The cruel fate of war
not all alike embraces,
and then the dauntless warrior
who leads the host may perish!

What dost thou tell me?

Yes, Radames by thy countrymen
is slaughtered and canst thou mourn him?

I will cry forever!

The Gods have wrought thee vengeance.

Celestial favour
to me was ne'er extended.

(Breaking out with violence)
Tremble! Thou art discovered!
Thou lovest him, ne'er deny it.

I love!
Nay, to confound thee
I need but one word: gaze on my visage.
I told thee falsely:
Radames liveth!

(Kneeling with rapture)
He liveth! Gods, I thank ye!

(With the utmost fury)
Dost hope still now deceive me?
Yes, thou lovest him; so e'en do I.
Dost hear my words? Behold thy rival here
in a Pharaoh's daughter!

(Drawing herself up with pride)
Thou my rival!
What though it were so? I too.
(Checking herself and falling at the feet of Amneris)
Ah, heed not my words, but spare and pardon!
On all my anguish sweet pity take.
'Tis true that all else for his love I'd forsake,
while thou art mighty. all joy's thy dower,
naught save love have I left in life.
Tremble, slave! Would thy heart I saw breaking,
on thy mad passion life thou art staking.
Do I not hold thee fast in my power,
while in my breast hate and envy are rife?
(The noise of distant shouting is heard)
In the pageant now preparing
shall a part by thee be taken,
thou the dust, slave abject, biting,
on the throne while I find room!
Come, this strife with me inviting,
thou ere long shalt learn thy doom.

Pray thee spare a heart despairing,
life's to me a void, forsaken;
live and reign, thy anger blighting
o'er my head no more shall loom,
soon this love thy hate inviting
shall be buried in the tomb.

[ Back to Top ]


In front of the gate of Thebes and before the Pharaoh and his court the triumphal procession passes among the exultant crowd. Radames, saluted as the saviour of the country, is invited by the Pharaoh to express a wish which will be granted: the warrior asks for the release of the Ethiopian captives, who include the king Amonasro, not yet recognized. The Pharaoh consents but, on the advice of Ramphis, retains Amonasro as hostage. Then he announces that he will give Radames his daughter for a bride.

Entrance Gate to the city of Thebes. In front a clump of palms. On the right a temple dedicated to Ammon; on the left a throne with a purple canopy; at the back a triumphal arch. The stage is crowded with people. Enter the Pharaoh, followed by State Officers, Priests, Captains, Fan-bearers, Standard-bearers. Afterwards Amneris, with Aida and Slaves. The Pharaoh takes his seat on the throne. Amneris places herself at his left hand.

Glory to Isis and the land
by her firm arm protected;
to Egypt's King elected
raise we our festive song!
Hither advance, o glorious band,
mingle your joy with ours,
green bays and fragrant flowers
scatter their path along.

The laurel with the lotus bound
the victor's brows enwreathing,
let flowers, sweet perfume breathing,
veil their grim arms from sight.
Dance, sons of Egypt, circling round,
and sing your mystic praises.

Unto the power war's issue dread
deciding, our glances raise we;
thank we our Gods, and praise we
on this triumphant day.
(The Egyptians troops, preceded by trumpeters, defile before the Pharaoh. In the procession are war chariots, banners, sacred vessels, and images of the Gods. A group of dancing girls appears bringing the spoils of the conquered).

Thus our dread foes once more dispersed
and honour vindicated,
may we ne'er fall prostrated
beneath their hated sway.
(Enter Radames under a canopy carried by twelve officers).

The Pharaoh
(Descending from the throne to embrace Radames)
Saviour brave of thy country, Egypt salutes thee!
Hither now advance, and on thy head
my daughter will place the crown of triumph.
(Radames bows before Amneris, who hands him the crown).
(To Radames)
What boon thou askest
freely I'll grant it; naught can be denied
on such a day; I swear it
by the crown I am wearing, by Heaven above us.

First deign to order that the captives
be before you brought.
(The Egyptian Prisoners are led in, surrounded by guards, Amonasro comes last, in the dress of an officer).

What see I? He here? My father!

Her father!

And in our power!

(Embracing her father)
Thou captive made.

(Whispering to Aida)
Tell not my rank.

The Pharaoh
(To Amonasro)
Come forward! So then thou art.

Her father! I joined the war,
fought, and was conquered. Death I vainly sought.
(Pointing to the dress he is wearing)
This my habit has told you already,
I my King, I my country defended.
Adverse fortune against us ran steady,
vainly sought we the fates to defy.
At my feet in the dust lay extended
our King. countless wounds had transpierced him
if to fight for the country that nursed him
makes us guilty, we are ready to die.
(Turning to the Pharaoh as a suppliant)
But, o King, in thy power transcendent,
spare the lives on thy mercy dependent;
by the fates though to-day overtaken,
say, who can to-morrow's event descry?

Aida, Prisoners and Slaves
We on whom Heaven's anger falling,
thee implore, on thy clemency calling;
may ye ne'er be by fortune foresaken,
nor like us in captivity lie!

Ramphis and Priests
Death, o King, be their just destination,
close thy heart to all vain supplication:
by the Heavens they doomed are to perish
by the Heavens are bound to obey.

Holy Priests, calm your anger exceeding,
lend an ear to the conquered foe pleading;
mighty King, thou whose power we cherish,
in thy bosom let mercy have sway.

(Aside, regarding Aida)
(See her cheek wan with weeping and sorrows,
from affliction new charm seems to borrow;
in my bosom love's flame seems new lighted
by each tear drop that flows from her eyes).

(With what glances on her he is gazing,
glowing passion within them is blazing;
she is loved and my passion is slighted,
stem revenge in my breast loudly cries).

The Pharaoh
High in triumph since our banners now are soaring,
let us spare those our mercy imploring;
by the Gods mercy aye is required,
and gives strength to princely sway.

(To the Pharaoh)
O King, by Heaven above us,
and by the crown on thy bow, thou sworest
whate'er I asked thee thou would grant it.

The Pharaoh
Say on!

Vouchsafe thee, I pray, freedom and life
to freely grant unto these Ethiop captives here.

(Free all them!)

Death be the doom of Egypt's enemies.

Compassion to the wretched!

Hear me, o King;
(to Radames)
And thou too,
dauntless young hero, list to the voice of prudence;
they are foes, to battle hardened,
in them vengeance ne'er will die,
growing bolder if now pardoned.
They to arms once more will fly.

With Amonasro, their warrior King,
all hopes of revenge have perished.

At least,
as earnest of safety and of peace,
keep we back fair Aida's father;
set the others free.

The Pharaoh
I yield me to thy counsel,
of safety now and peace a bond more certain
will I give you. Radames, to thee our debt
is unbounded. Amneris my daughter shall be
thy guerdon. Thou shall hereafter o'er Egypt
with her hold conquering sway.

(Now let yon bondmaid
rob me of my love. she dare not!)

The Pharaoh
Glory to Egypt, sacred land,
Isis hath aye protected;
with laurel and with lotus
bind round the victor's head.

Praise be to Isis, Goddess kind,
who hath our land protected,
and pray the favours granted us
ever be o'er us shed.

(Alas! To me what hope is left?)
He wed, a throne ascending,
I left to measure all my loss
like some poor widowed dove).

Glory to Egypt's gracious land,
who hath revenge rejected,
and liberty hath granted us
once more our soil to tread.

(Now Heaven's bolt the clouds hath loosed
upon my head descending.
Ah no! All Egypt's treasure
outweights not Aida's love).

(Almost of every sense bereft
by joy my hopes transcending,
scarce I the triumph now can measure
crowning all my love).

(Whispering to Aida)
Take heart, there yet some hope is left,
thy country's fate amending;
thou'lt soon behold with pleasure
vengeance light from above.

Glory to Egypt's Goddess kind,
who hath our land protected,
with laurel and with lotus
bind round the victor's head.

Near the temple of Isis, where Amneris with Ramphis and her followers goes to pray, Aida is waiting for Radames. Her father arrives unexpectedly and asks her to find out from her lover the Egyptian battle plans. When Radames comes, Amonasro hides behind some palms. The young warrior does not want to marry Amneris and then Aida persuades him to flee with her to Ethiopia. When Aida asks him about the path to follow, Radames let slip the wanted information. Exultant Amonasro breaks out of his hiding place and reveals his own identity. Radames is overwhelmed by this treachery and when Amneris rushes out of the temple declaring him a traitor, he gives himself up to the guards. Aida and Amonasro fly away.

On the Banks of the Nile. Granite rocks overgrown with palm trees. On the summit of the rocks a temple dedicated to Isis, half hidden in foliage. A lovely, moonlit night.

(Within the temple)
O thou who Osiris art
mother and consort immortal
Goddess that madest the human heart
flutter as does the dove,
aid us who seek the portal,
parent of deathless love.
(From a boat which approaches the bank descend Amneris and Ramphis followed by veiled women and guards).

(To Amneris)
Come to the fane of Isis the eye
before the day of thy bridal, pray that
the Goddess grant thee her favour. To Isis
are the hearts of mortals open. All that is hidden
in the heart of man she knoweth.

Yes, and I will pray that Radames may give me
truly his heart, truly as mine to him
has ever been sacred.

Thou shalt pray till the daylight, I shall be near thee.
(They enter the temple. The Priests and Priestesses again sing the Hymn to Isis).

(Veiled, enters cautiously)
He will ere long be here! What would he tell me?
I tremble! Ah, if thou comest
to bid me, harsh man, farewell for ever,
then Nilus, thy dark and rushing stream
hides me for ever; peace shall I find there and oblivion!
O skies cerulean, breezes soft blowing,
where brightly calmness saw life's morn unfold,
sweet sloping verdure by streams so softly flowing,
thee my native land ne'er more shall I behold;
ye fragrant valleys, your sheltering bowers
once 'twas my dream should love's abode hang o'er;
perished those dreams now like winter-blighted flowers,
land of my fathers, ne'er shall I see thee more!
(Amonasro appears from among the palm trees and approaches Aida).

Heaven! My father!

To thee, Aida, I come
for gravest reasons. Naught escapes my attention.
For Radames thou art dying of love:
he loves thee, thou awaitest him.
A daughter of the Pharaohs is thy rival.
Race accursed, detested, to us aye fatal!

And I am in her grasp, I, Amonasro's daughter!

In her power thou? No! If thou wishest,
thy all powerful rival thou shalt vanquish;
thy country, thy sceptre, thy love, all shall be thine.
Once again shalt thou on our fragrant forests
our verdant valleys, our golden temples gaze!

Once again shall I on our fragrant forests
our verdant valleys, our golden temples gaze!

The happy bride of thy heart's dearest treasure,
delight unbounded there shalt thou enjoy.

Ah, but one day of such enchanting pleasure,
nay, but an hour of bliss so sweet, then let me die!

Yet recall how Egyptian hordes descended
on our homes; our temples, our altars dared profane;
cast in bond sisters, daughters undefended;
mothers, children, helpless old men were slain!

Too well remembered are those days of mourning,
all the keen anguish my poor heart that pierced;
Gods, grant in mercy peace once more returning,
once more the dawn soon of glad days may rise!

Lose not a moment! Our people armed
are panting for signal; now to strike the blow;
success is sure: naught but one thing is wanting,
that we know by what will march the foe.

Who that path will discover? Canst tell?

Thyself will!


Radames, whom thou expected, will tell thee.
He commands the Egyptians, and loves thee.

Thought hateful!
What prompst thou me to do ?
No! Ask it not!

Then, Egypt's fierce nation,
our cities devoting
to flames, and denoting
with ruins your path,
spread wide devastation,
your fury unbridle,
resistance is idle,
wreak on us your wrath!

Ah, father!

(Repulsing her)
Call'st thyself my daughter?

Nay, hold! Have mercy!

Torrents of blood shall crimson flow,
grimly the foe stands gloating;
see'st thou from Death's dark gulf below
shades of the dead upfloating,
crying as thee in scorn they show
thou hast thy country slain?

Have mercy, pray!

One among those phantoms dark
e'en now it stands before thee.
Tremble! Now stretching o'er thee
its withered hands see there again,
stretched out to curse thee!

(With the utmost terror)
Ah, no! My father!

(Repelling her)
Thou art not my daughter!
No! Of the Pharaoh thou art a bondmaid.

Father, no, their slave am I no longer.
Ah, with thy curse do not appal me,
still thine own daughter thou may'st call me.

Think that thy trace down-trampled by the conqueror,
through thee alone can their freedom gain.

Oh, then, my country than love
has proved the stronger.

Have courage! He comes! There I'll remain.
(He conceals himself among the palms. Radames enters)

I see thee again, my sweet Aida!

Advance not! Hence! What hopes are thine?

Love led me hither in hope to meet thee.

Thou to another must thy hand resign;
the Princess weds thee!

What say'st thou?
Thee only, Aida, e'er can I love.
Be witness, Heaven, thou art not forsaken!

Invoke not falsely the Gods above;
brave thou wert loved, let not untruth degrade thee.

Can I not of my love then persuade thee?

And how then
hopest thou to baffle the love of thy Princess,
the King's high command, the desire of the people,
the certain wrath of the priesthood?

Hear me, sweet Aida!
Once more of deadly strife with hope unfading
the Ethiopians have lighted the brand;
already they our borders have invaded,
while Egypt's armies I shall command.
When shouts of triumph greet me victorious,
to our kind monarch my love disclosing,
thee will I claim, thee my guerdon glorious,
with thee live ever in peace reposing.

Nay, but dost thou not fear then
of Amneris the rage? Her dreadful vengeance
like the lightning of Heaven on my will fall.
Fall on my father, my nation.

I will defend thee.

In vain would'st thou attempt it,
yet, if thou lovest me, then still offers
a means for our safety.

Name it!

To fly!


Ah, fly from where these burning skies
are all beneath them blighting,
towards regions new we'll turn our eyes,
our faithful love inviting.
There where the virgin forests rise
'mid fragrance softly stealing,
our loving bliss concealing,
the world we'll quite forget.

To distant countries ranging
with thee thou bid'st me fly,
for other lands exchanging
all 'neath my native sky.
The land these arms have guarded,
that first fame's crown awarded,
where first I thee regarded,
how can I e'er forget?

Beneath our skies more freely
to our hearts will love be yielded;
the Gods thy youth that shielded
will not our love forget.


Me thou lov'st not! God!

Not love thee!
Ne'er yet in mortal bosom
burnt yet love's flame with ardour more devouring.

Go, thy Amneris waits thee!

All in vain!

In vain thou say'st?
Then fall the axe upon me
and on my wretched father!

(With passionate resolution)
Ah, no! We'll fly then!
Yes, we'll fly these walls now hated,
in the desert hide our treasure
here; the land to woe seems fated,
there all seems to smile with love.
Boundless deserts naught can measure.
Where our bridal couch soon spreading,
starry skies shall, lustre shedding,
be our canopy above.

In my native land where lavish
fortune smiles, a Heaven awaits thee,
balmy airs the sense that ravish
stray through verdant mead and grove.
'Mid the valleys where nature greets thee
we our bridal couch soon spreading,
there the stars shall lustre shedding,
be our canopy above.

Aida and Radames
Come, from hence together flying
where all woe seems to abide,
thou art loved with love undying,
come, and love our steps shall guide!
(They hasten away)

(Suddenly stopping)
But tell me by what path
shall we avoid alighting
on the soldiers?

By the path we have chosen
to fall on the Ethiops, 'twill be vacant
until to-morrow.

Say, which is that?

The gorges of Napata!
(Springing forward from the cover of the trees)
Of Napata! 'Tis well then!
There will I post my troops.
Who has overheard us?
I, Aida's father, Ethiopia's King.
(Overcome with surprise)
Thou! Amonasro! Thou the King! Heaven!
What say's thou?
No! It is false!
Surely this can be but dreaming.

Ah, no! Be calm and list to me,
trust love, thy footsteps guiding.

In Aida's love confiding,
a throne thy prize shall be.

For thee I've played the traitor,
my name for ever branded!

No, guilt can never fall on thee,
it was by fate commanded.
Come where beyond the Nile arrayed
warriors brave are waiting:
there, love thy fond wish sating,
thou shalt be happy made.
(Amneris rushes out of the Temple, followed by Ramphis and the Priests and Guards)

Traitor vile!

The Princess here!

(Advancing with a dagger towards Amneris)
Comest thou here to mar my projects?

(Rushing between them)
Nay, strike not, thou madman!

Oh, fury!

Guards there, advance!
(To Aida and Amonasro)
Fly! Quick! Delay not!

(Dragging Aida away)
Come then, my daughter!

(To the guards)
Guards! Quick, follow!

(To Ramphis)
Holy Priest, to thee I yield.

In a hall of the Palace of the Pharaoh Amneris, still in love with Radames, implores him to clear himself and to beg for mercy before the priests. But he refuses because life without honour and without Aida is not worth living. At the trial, indeed, he does not defend himself and is condemned to be buried alive.

[ Back to Top ]


A Hall in the Palace of the Pharaoh at Memphis. On the left a large portal leading to the subterranean Hall of Justice. A passage on the right leading to the prison of Radames.

(Mournful, crouched before the portal)
She, my rival detested, has escaped me,
and from the priesthood Radames is waiting
the sentence on a traitor. Yet a traitor
he is not. Though he disclosed the weighty
secrets of warfare. flight was his true intention,and flight with her too. They are traitors all then,
and justly should perish.
What am I saying? I love him!
Still I love him. Yes, insane and desperate
is the love my wretched life destroying.
Ah! Could he only love me!
Fain would I save him. Yet can I?
One effort! Soldiers, Radames bring hither!
(Radames is led by the guards)

Now to the hall the Priest proceed
where the judgement thou art waiting,
yet is there hope from this foul deed
thyself of exculpating.
Once cleared, to gain thy pardon,
I at the throne's foot kneeling
for mercy dear appealing,
life will I bring to thee.

From me my judges ne'er will hear
one word of exculpation;
in sight of Heaven I am clear,
nor fear its reprobation.
My lips I kept no guard on,
the secret I imparted;
but guiltless and pure-hearted,
from stain my honour's free!

Then save thy life and clear thyself.


Would'st thou die?

life is; of all pleasure
from henceforward divested.
Without hope's priceless treasure
'tis better far to die!

Would'st die then? Ah me! Consent to live!
Live, of all my love assured,
the keenest pangs that death can give
for thee have I endured.
By love condemned to languish,
long vigils I have spent in anguish;
my country, power, existence,
all I'd surrender for thee!

Have I not staked upon her
all that in life was dearest?

No more of her!

Dishonour awaits me, my death thou fearest?
Wretched thou madest life ever
from Aida mine to sever,
haply thou hast slain her,
yet offerest life to me?

I on her life lay guilty hands!
No! Aida lives yet!


When routed fled the savage bands,
to fate war's chances giving,
perished her father!

And she then?

Vanished, nor aught heard we then further.

The Gods her path guide then,
safe to her home returning,
guard her too e'er from learning
that I for her sake die!

But if I save thee wilt thou swear
her sight e'er to resign?

I cannot!

Swear to renounce
her for ever. life shall be thine!

I cannot!

Once more thy answer
will thou renounce her?

No! Never!

Life's thread would'st thou then sever?

Ready for death am I.

From the fate now hanging o'er thee
who will save thee, wretched being?
She whose heart could once adore thee
thou hast made thy mortal foe.
Heaven all my anguish seeing,
will avenge this cruel blow!

Void of terrors death appeareth
since I die for her I cherish;
in the hour when I perish
with delight my heart will glow!
Wrath no more this bosom feareth,
scorn for thee alone I know!
(Radames goes out attended by the guards).

(Sinking back, half fainting, on to a chair)
Ah me! Death's hand approaches!
Who now will save him?
He is now in their power,
his sentence I have sealed.
Oh how I curse thee,
jealously, vile monster,
thou who hast doomed him
to death, and me to everlasting sorrow!
(She turns and sees the Priests, who cross the stage and enter the subterranean Hall of Justice).
What see I? Behold the fatal
Ministers of death, his merciless judges.
Ah, let me not behold those white-robed phantoms!
(She covers her face with her hands).

(Within the subterranean Hall)
Heavenly spirit, in our hearts descending,
kindle of justice the flame eternal,
unto our sentence truth and righteousness lending.

Pity, o Heaven, this heart so sorely wounded;
his soul is guiltless, save him, powers supernal,
for my sorrow is despairing, deep, unbounded.
(Radames passes by with his guards and enters the subterranean Hall. Amneris seeing him utters a cry).

(Within the subterranean Hall of Justice)
Radames, Radames: thou hast betrayed
the secrets of thy country to aid the foeman!

Defend thyself!

He is silent.

Traitor vile!

Radames, Radames: and thou was absent
from the camp the very day before the combat!

Defend thyself!

He is silent

Traitor vile!

Radames, Radames: and thou hast played
the part of a traitor to King and honour.

Defend thyself!

He is silent.

Traitor vile!
Radames, we thy fate have decided,
the fate of all traitors shall be thine.
'Neath the altar whose God thou hast derided
thou a sepulchre living shalt find.

Find a sepulchre living! Hated wretches!
Ever vengeful, bloodthirsty, and blind,
yet thou serve of kind Heaven the shrine.
(The Priests now re-enter from the Hall of Justice. Amneris returns upon them in fury)
Priests of Heaven, a crime you have enacted,
tigers ever in bloodshed exulting,
earthly justice and Heaven's you are insulting,
on the guiltless your sentence will fall.

None can his doom recall!

(To Ramphis)
Priest of Heaven: thou death hast inflicted
on him whom well ye know once I treasured;
may a broken heart's curses unmeasured
with his blood on thy guilty head fall!

None can his doom recall!
(The Priests slowly depart)

Impious priesthood, curses light on ye all!
On your heads Heaven's vengeance will fall!
(Amneris rushes from the hall)


[ Back to Top ]


Radames already enclosed in his tomb in the temple of Vulcan, calls for Aida. Suddenly the girl appears: she has preceded him there unseen in order to die with him. Together they take their farewell of life. Above them Amneris, clothed in mourning, prays Isis to give eternal peace to her lost love.

The Scene is divided into two levels. The upper level represents the interior of the Temple at Memphis, resplendent with gold and glittering light. The lower level is a Crypt; long arcades can dimly be discerned in the gloom. Colossal statues of Osiris with crossed hands support the pillars of the vault. Radames is discovered in the Crypt, on the steps of the staircase which leads down into it. Above, two Priests are in the act of letting down the stone which closes the vault.

The fatal stone upon me now is closing,
now has the tomb engulfed me. I never more
the light shall behold. Ne'er more see gentle Aida.
Dear Aida, where now art thou? Whate'er befall me,
may'st thou be happy. Ne'er may my frightful doom
reach thy gentle ear. What groan was that? 'Tis a phantom.
some vision dread. No! Sure that form is human.
Heaven! 'tis Aida!

Yes! Aida!

Thou, with me here buried!

My heart foreboded this thy dreadful sentence,
and to this tomb that shuts on thee its portal
I crept unseen by mortal.
Here from all where none can more behold us,
clasped in thy arms I resolved to perish.
To perish! So pure and lovely!
To die thy own self dooming
in all thy beauty blooming,
fade thus for ever,
thou whom Heaven only for love created!
But to destroy thee was my love then fated!
Ah, no! Those eyes
so dear I prize
for death are too lovely.
See'st thou where death in angel guise,
with heavenly radiance beaming,
would wait us to eternal joys
on golden wings above?
See Heaven's gates are open wide
where tears never streaming,
where only bliss and joy reside
and never-fading love!
(The Priests and Priestesses in the Temple sing the Hymn to Phtah and the Priestesses dance the sacred dance).

That sad chanting!

'Tis the sacred dance
of the Priesthood!

It is our death chant resounding!

(Trying to displace the stone closing the vault)
Cannot my lusty sinews
move from its place this fatal stone?

'Tis vain! All is over,
hope on earth have we none!

(With sad resignation)
I fear it! I fear it!
(He approaches Aida and supports her).

Aida and Radames
Farewell, o earth! Farewell, thou vale of sorrow!
Brief dream of joy condemned to end in woe!
See brightly opens the sky, an endless morrow!
There all unshadowed eternal shall glow!
(Aida sinks back in the arms of Radames)

(Clothed in mourning, appears in the Temple, and throws herself on the stone closing the vault)
Peace everlasting, loved one, may'st thou know,
Isis relenting, greet thee on high!

[ Back to Top ]


Aida, The First International Clay Animation Movie of the famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi
News & Events


[ Press Center ]  

Join Our Mailing List

Enter your email here to get our latest news and updates
Aida Poster

Aida Poster
AraMage Artistic Production
AraMage Artistic Production
Developed by:
exyria Studies.
Developed By: exyria Studies
Home : Synopsis : Characters : Libretto : Cast : Gallery : Press Center : Sponsors : Contact Us  
Aida, The First International Clay Animation Movie of the famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi

 | © 2004

an AraMage Production.