The students of Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS) brought the fascinating tale of Aida to life on Tuesday, November13 and Wednesday, November 14. This famous musical brought many of the middle school and high school students closer together, and strong friendship bonds were formed. As Aida is a large-scale production, many of the students had previously feared that it would not come together in time for the opening and closing night performances, but a lot of hard work and enjoyable, collaborative practices brought it all together in the nick of time.
An explanation of this musical is in order, as few have heard of it before. Aida is the princess of Nubia. She and several Nubian women are captured by the Egyptian Captain, Captain Radames. He is betrothed to Egyptian Princess Amneris, daughter of the Pharaoh. Radames’s father, Zoser, has been poisoning Pharaoh so Radames can marry Amneris and take over Egypt. Aida becomes a servant to Amneris, and she and Radames begin to fall in love, creating a love triangle. Then Aida’s father, the King of Nubia, is captured. Aida collaborates with her new love,and a servant named Mereb to create a plan to all send them home free to Nubia. However their plot is uncovered, Zoser is apprehended, and Radames and Aida are put in a tomb together.
Talk about romantic tragedy! There seem to be Romeos and Juliets all over the place!
The choreographer, Mr. Robert Dil,a YCIS music teacher, said he was so proud of how all the cast managed to finally get their costumes together and props in order for a magnificent production. He and his wife Erin both said they were in tears many times through the second act.
Sarah Quan, 16, a year 12 student from the US who played the slave Nehebka, was impressed at how much the musical improved over the course of the last few practices, when previously she worried that it wasn’t going to be ready in time. The first performance was flawless, according to Sarah’s mother, Alice Quan, who attended several performances and dress rehearsals. But the final performance, a few slip-ups aside, was electric and emotionally charged.
So while the students are sad it’s finished, they all cherish the experience and eagerly look forward to future opportunities when it comes to the school’s performances. Mr. Dil is planning a mini Broadway’s Wicked in June, and the English Department is considering Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for the spring semester.
Sydney Hoskin, year 12, is the student correspondent for YCIS Beijing.Oddly enough, Sydney is more commonly referred to as "Squid." She’s been in Beijing for about three years now, though she also lived here for six months when she was really little, so maybe it counts as three and a half years. She’s 16 years old and loves to read, write, act, listen to music, and hang out with her friends.
The beijingkids student correspondent program gives high school students with an interest in writing and journalism a resource for guidance, feedback, and real-life training.If you are a student interested in becoming a beijingkids student correspondent, or you know a student who is, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of YCIS Beijing