FOSTORIA - Students at St. Wendelin Catholic School in Fostoria are to stage the musical "Aida" with the music and lyrics of Elton John and Tim Rice and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang.
The musical is based on the 1870s opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the small gym at the school.
The curtain rises and falls on a contemporary museum exhibit, but the main part of the story is a re-enactment of the ancient love story depicted in the artwork.
PHOTO BY MIKE MASELLA
Catrina Lang, as Princess Amneris, sings “My Strongest Suit” in a scene from “Aida.”
Aida is the princess of Nubia who is captured, along with many of her people, and carried off to Egypt as spoils.
Radames, the captain of the Egyptian guard, transports Aida on his ship and takes note of her courageous and noble actions. Cast as the star-crossed lovers Aida and Radames are Megan McNinch and Dalton Murray.
When the ships reach Egypt, Radames instructs his young servant, Mereb (Joshua Kinn), to take Aida as a gift to his fiance, Princess Amneris, played by Catrina Lang.
Amneris is not impressed with her new slave until Aida offers to make her some new garments in the latest styles. As time passes, their relationship becomes more of a friendship than one between mistress and slave. Mereb, recognizes Aida as the Princess of Nubia and pays homage to her privately. They agree not to tell their captors of her royalty.
Complications arise as a forbidden romance grows between Radames and Aida.
In parallel is a political plot to poison the Pharaoh, Amneris' father, after Radames and Amneris are married. At the heart of the plot is Zoser, Radames' father, who is scheming to elevate his son to the highest position and ensure his own security. Ben Noel portrays the Pharaoh and Nathaniel Marugg plays Zoser.
Mereb urges Aida to use her influence with Radames to obtain the release of the Nubian slaves. Zoser, who has noticed Radames' affection for Aida, plans to have her murdered, but another Nubian girl, Nehebka, poses as Aida and is executed in her place, sparing Aida's life.
Before long, Aida's father, Amonasro, is captured and brought to the Egyptian court. Lexie Fretz and Kieran Campbell are cast as Nehebka and Amonasro.
Radames and Aida plan to release Amonasro and escape together. Although Amonasro gets away safely, the lovers are caught and condemned to be buried alive for treason.
Amneris, who has come to love Radames and Aida, mourns their loss and that of her father; however, the tragedy gives her courage and insights to make her a wise ruler as she assumes the throne of Egypt.
The chorus includes Christina Arnold, Joey DeHaven, Amber Gabel, Erica Gabel, Alexa Hallman, Kayla Kirk, Lauren Meyers, Elise Pahl, Tim Pariseau, Becca Starn and Victoria Volpe.
Conducted by Matthew Keasal, a large pit orchestra and a lively, contemporary score help maintain the show's pace. The musicians are Tamara Luchini, John Luchini, Albert Park, Anthony Gallina, Gabriel Cabanillas, Samantha Reidlinger, Kaitlin DeFrancisco, Lewis Jones, Keight Karhoff, Haley Wolfe.
Lucas Horstman is the choreographer.
Luke Erford is directing the production with assistance from student director, Angie Bosak; stage manager, Kelly Ressler; assistant stage manager, Brenna Lammers; technical director, Logan Borer; and set designer, Tim Smith.
The backstage crew includes Meilssa Finsel, Sean McAdoo, Zach Miller. Edy Mowery, Zach Recker, Tyler Rumschlag; Philip Streacker, Sammantha Walter and Elizabeth Weaver.
On make-up are Adrienne Emerine, Kelly Faeth and Chloe Holman.
Jill Marugg, Judy Reinhart, June O'Neil and Amy Bosak took care of costumes.