With its famous arias and ensembles, Aida has become one of the most popular operas ever written. The libretto was prepared by Antonio Ghislanzoni based on a text by French author Camille du Locle. and the plot is as follows:
At the court of the Pharaoh, a captain of the guard, Radames, is in love with the slave-girl Aida. Her mistress is the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris, who covets Radames for herself. Unbeknownst to all, Aida is actually an Ethiopian princess, daughter of Egypt’s worst enemy King Amonasro. When Ethiopia declares war on the Nile, Radames is delighted to be made Commander of the Egyptian army, whereas Aida is torn between her love for Radamès and for her native land. The Egyptians are victorious, and all go to the city gates where a celebration is taking place, as captured Ethiopians follow the victors into the city. Among them is Amonasro, Aida's father, who signals her not to betray his identity. At a plea from Radamès he is not executed but is taken into custody, and the King offers Radames Amneris' hand in marriage.
Amonasro, finding Aida homesick and lovelorn, forces his daughter to agree to ask Radamès where the Egyptian army plans to enter Ethiopia. This she does, and just as he reveals the secret, Amonasro steps out of hiding, and Ramfis and Amneris come forth from the temple. While Aida escapes with her father, Radamès surrenders to the priests and is condemned as a traitor. He is sealed in a tomb to die, but Aida has waited for him there and they die together.
This is the Schirmer edition of the Libretto, in the original Italian with an English translation by Walter Ducloux.