Posted tagged ‘musicals’

Tasmania Discovery Orchestra Meets Stephen Schwartz

June 22, 2010

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of playing with the Tasmania Discovery Orchestra in  An Evening with Stephen Schwartz as part of the Festival of Broadway.

The Tasmania Discovery Orchestra (TDO) is an initiative of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and came into being in March of this year. It is an orchestra designed to offer musicians with advanced orchestral instrument skills the opportunity to come together and make great music in Hobart, Tasmania. Entry is by audition.

Stephen-SchwartzThe rehearsal arrangement is designed to encourage interstate players and so is quite compact.  We had five rehearsals: two on Thursday, two on Friday, and one on Saturday, followed by the concert.

Stephen Schwartz is an extremely talented musician and lyricist. It was a delight to see and hear him,  both in interview and performing. The interviewer for the night was Michael A Kerker, the Director of Musical Theatre for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). 

Schwartz’ description of the writing process was quite illuminating. It is very easy to have the impression that composers or lyricists sit down and just write what comes to them in an unending flow.  This idea was soon corrected as Schwartz told of many incidences of having to write and re-write until he was satisfied with the end result.

Later on he played a piece he had re-worked, in its original form, at the piano. He then went on to play the second re-write and finally the third, explaining along the way his reasoning for changing the lyrics and the eventual title of the song.  All this was done completely without written music!

Soloists at the concert included some absolutely amazing singers: Liz Callaway, Michael Rose, Silvie Paladino, Adrian Li Donni, Ben Davidson, Julie O’Reilly and Michael Lampard. Musical numbers were from Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, Children of Eden, The Baker’s Wife, Rags and Wicked.

The first Australian performance of two excerpts from Schwartz’ first opera, Séance On A Wet Afternoon, were also performed by Julie O’Reilly and Ben Davidson. The opera premiered at the Opera Santa Barbara late last year and will be performed  in Australia in 2011.

All in all, it was a most enjoyable evening and a thrill to be in the orchestra for such a pleasurable event.


Quotes from Camelot

May 30, 2010

I’m not accomplished at thinking so I have Merlyn do it for me. ~ King Arthur

Knights gathering…flowers…your Majesty? ~ Lancelot

Tell me, Milord, have you come into contact with humility lately? ~ Guenevere to Lancelot, after he has professed his prowess to all present

We Pellinores are a tenacious lot. When I get my teeth into something, I sometimes have to leave them there. ~ King Pellinore

The toughest one last eh? You know, Mrs Queen….you’re a prince! ~ Pellinore, when Guenevere tells him the order of the jousts.

Do you know what he did to me once? Mother had a youth potion that took off ten years. When I was nine, he gave it to me. ~ Mordred,  speaking of his step father, King Lot

The adage “Blood is thicker than water”  was invented by undeserving relatives. ~ King Arthur to Mordred

Arthur, you bring the bows and arrows, and I’ll bring the sandwiches. ~ King Pellinore to King Arthur regarding hunting the next day

I want to find that bird, what? I mean, if you his a bird with an arrow, it ought to fall down like a gentleman…..unless it’s a ladybird. ~ King Pellinore

I say, Arthur. Who are you waving at? ~ King Pellinore to King Arthur who is feeling around an invisible wall put there by Morgan le Fey

Look here Morbid, or whatever your name is. I don’t know what slushes through that swampy little mind of yours, but while the King is away, I am in charge of this castle.  And I’m no a believer in all this civil law nonsense.  You make one false move, and you’ll face the jury in two sections, what? Carry the head in myself. Gladly. Oh, wouldn’t I love that! You medieval delinquent! ~ King Pellinore to Mordred, as he is searching for Lancelot and Guenevere

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