Joseph Pecchia ‘22
The Salesian Players cast Flaherty Hall into Ancient Egypt with a stunning production of Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s production of AIDA. With performances on Friday and Saturday nights and a matinee on Sunday, the cast and crew delivered a full theatrical experience with entertaining and emotional songs, adventures and sword-fighting, and heartbreak.
The audience is immediately entranced by the mysticism of Egypt with the opening number, “Every Story is a Love Story,” performed with energy and emotion by vocal powerhouse, Magalina Giannotti as Amneris. A modern-day museum of mulling spectators is slowly transformed into ancient lands and the story of Aida begins.
The opening scene is just one of the many scenes of the show that display Magalina’s talents. She is also featured in songs My Strongest Suit, Not Me, A Step Too Far, and I Know The Truth. When asked how she felt about being in a lead role for the first time she responded, “I believe it was beneficial for my hopeful future in theater, also I love being able to let my emotion flow through me while performing, which is something I got to do often as a lead.”
Aida is the tale of a Nubian princess who is captured and enslaved by her country’s enemy, Egypt. Her courage and ferocity endures her to her captive, Radames, who spares her a fate worse than death by giving her as a gift to his betrothed, Princess Amneris. Aida becomes a confidante to Amneris and also develops a kinship with fellow Nubian and slave, Mereb. But it is her love for Radames that spells doom for the two of them as they are sentenced to death by burial in a tomb.
Preston High School Sophomore, Thea Tinawin, plays Aida. Her vocal range is as strong as Aida’s spirit; she acts and sings with such power that one can understand why she is a beloved princess of her people.
Opposite Aida is the powerful performance of Brendan Daly as the daring Egyptian captain, Radames. His heartbreaking journey from hero to criminal is believable and sympathetic. He chooses his love for Aida and, in doing so, betrays his country and his marriage to Amneris.
The cast also includes Sophomore David Rosario who brings a comedic light as Mereb, Sophomore Joseph Trosa as Pharaoh, and Junior Joseph Mazza as Zoser. Senior Chris Piancentile and Freshman Brendan Byrne round out the cast with their tireless ensemble performances. Salesian’s very own Mr. Kevin Dwyer plays Aida’s father, the King of Nubia, Amonasro.
By the end of the story, when Amneris realizes she’s been betrayed by the two people she loves the most, she sings a song (I Know the Truth) that left many in the audience teary-eyed. When Aida and Radames face their fate in the darkness of the tomb, the stage becomes the very modern-day museum first introduced at the start of the play. There, as they stand in front of a glass sarcophagus that contains the body of Princess Amneris, star-crossed lovers Radames and Aida find each other once again through the test of time.