Reviews for Aida


PHI20
This retelling of one of Verdi's most popular works suffers from the primary problem inherent in retelling any opera. Operas are composed, first and foremost, as musical works, and character motivation tends to be expressed in the music. While Price has faithfully outlined the opera's plot--the Ethiopian princess Aida's love for the Egyptian warrior Radames; the jealousy of Amneris, the Pharaoh's daughter; Radames's ultimate execution; and Aida's sacrifice--she does not provide a plausible rationale for their actions and, in the absence of Verdi's music, the story comes across as thin. Considered individually, the Dillons' paintings make dramatic tableaux, and taken together they form a stunning, unified whole. The art focuses on overall action, not individuals, and goes a very long way to illuminating the motivations lacking in Price's text. Even with minor reservations, this A ida is lavishly packaged and strikingly designed. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1990 September #2
This retelling of one of Verdi's most popular works suffers from the primary problem inherent in retelling any opera. Operas are composed, first and foremost, as musical works, and character motivation tends to be expressed in the music. While Price has faithfully outlined the opera's plot--the Ethiopian princess Aida's love for the Egyptian warrior Radames; the jealousy of Amneris, the Pharaoh's daughter; Radames's ultimate execution; and Aida's sacrifice--she does not provide a plausible rationale for their actions and, in the absence of Verdi's music, the story comes across as thin. Considered individually, the Dillons' paintings make dramatic tableaux, and taken together they form a stunning, unified whole. The art focuses on overall action, not individuals, and goes a very long way to illuminating the motivations lacking in Price's text. Even with minor reservations, this A ida is lavishly packaged and strikingly designed. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1990 November
Gr 4 Up-- A straightforward, sympathetic retelling of the story of the beautiful and noble Ethiopian Princess, Aida, who, while enslaved in Egypt, is caught between her devotion to her father and her country and her love for Radames, young captain of the enemy army. The Dillons' dramatic, decorative style with their sumptuous use of color is perfectly suited to the opera's moving and tragic story. The book is elegant in its design. Full-page dramatic paintings opposite each page of text are supplemented by smaller pictures set in a strip above the text where profiled characters in the style of ancient Egyptian art repeat the story line. Gorgeous endpapers and border designs in gold carry out the Egyptian theme and add to the richness and vibrancy of the book. All that is missing is Verdi's wonderful music. Aida is particularly welcome as there have been few opera-story picture books of note. John Updike's excellent retelling of Wagner's The Ring (Knopf, 1964), Stephen Spender's The Magic Flute (Putnam, 1966), and Doris Orgel's Lohengrin (Putnam, 1966) are all long out of print. --Ann Stell, The Smithtown Library, NY Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

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