6 Operas That Were Transformed Into Musicals / by David Hwang

Heather Headley in  Aida  Joan Marcus

Heather Headley in Aida Joan Marcus

What 2017 Tony-nominated revival is based on a 1904 opera? Which musical adaptation earned Anika Noni Rose a 2019 Lucille Lortel Award?

When words fail in theatre, characters have no choice but to sing. For these six operatic masterpieces, the words had to be sung twice. From a gripping story of love and loss from Verdi to Puccini’s story of betrayal and tragedy, here are half a dozen operas that received a musical theatre makeover.

Aida into Aida
Giuseppe Verdi’s 1870 opera of forbidden love sees the Ethiopian princess, Aida, captured and held hostage by Egyptian officers who are unaware of her true identity. During her imprisonment, she and Radamès, an Egyptian soldier, fall in love, and are forced to choose between their hearts and their homes. In 1998, Elton John, Tim Rice, and book writers Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang adapted the tragic love story.

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