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Sur scènes et sur écrans

2002 - Brent Carver

Enregistrement CD au Canada

Ce Cyrano-là n'a pour le moment connu que l'espace d'un studio d'enregsitrement.

The new musical Cyrano is, of course, based on the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. In 1980, while working as an actor at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. Michael Fox (or Michael Fawkes as he was known) performed in a production of the play. He was not the first to feel what a perfect musical this would make. In fact there have been other musical versions, notably a Broadway production in the 70's starring Christopher Plummer in the title role. Fast forward about 10 years to find Michael performing in the Toronto production of Phantom Of The Opera with his brother Rick conducting. After toying with the idea of turning Cyrano into an opera he instead decided to attempt a musical adaptation. After a period spent translating the original French and drafting a libretto brother Rick came on board as composer. With the help of Brent Carver and Cynthia Dale plus a number of Phantom cast members, a short demo of a few of the songs was recorded. On the strength of that demo a workshop was organized and co-produced by four Canadian theatre companies; Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theare Centre, Ottawa's National Arts Centre, and Toronto's CandianStage. The cast feature Juan Chiorin as Cyrano and Marie Danvers as Roxanne. Six public performances were given at CanadianStage's Berkley St. Theatre. There was considerable excitement generated by the workshop and a number of notable producers attended. Things were looking good.


Unfortunately the timing was off. It seems that at that time another musical version of Cyrano was gaining considerable attention in Amsterdam. The play was, afterall, in the public domain. After a six month run (in Dutch) the show was translated and produced on Broadway. It opened to less than favourable reviews and closed after 3 months having lost millions of dollars. The Canadian Cyrano was more or less dead in the water as no one was interested in investing in another Cyrano on the heels of the Dutch production. So it was put on the shelf.


Throughout the 90's there were bits of interest in the project, some of the songs were performed by people onstage and on TV. And as the memory of the Dutch production faded interest in the Canadian version started to re-surface. The Mirvishes, having seen the original workshop, asked to take a look at it. A reading was held in 1997 but production plans did not pan out. CanadianStage had another reading and most recently, in 1999, the Stratford Festival had a workshop. As these new opportunities arose more re-writes were done, cuts, changes etc. With Stratford's decision not to produce it, it looked like the end of the line for the project. The difficulties in getting a fairly large new musical produced in Canada proved to be too tough and back on the shelf it went.


Fast forward one more time to 2002. Rick Fox, working as musical director for the Toronto production of The Lion King, decided to give Cyrano one last push. While rehearsing with Brent Carver for a benefit Rick floated the idea of a recording, perhaps a well-produced demo, or even a commercial CD. Brent was game. With Brent onboard it was a no-brainer. A commercial CD was a must. The opportunity to record the score with the Tony Award winning Carver was all the motivation needed to embark on a creatively exciting but fiscally dubious endeavour. As more cast members came on board including the extremely talented soprano Patricia O'Callaghan and veteran leading man David Rogers the project gained momentum. The recording could never have happened without the invaluable contribution of co-producer and guitar player Rick Whitelaw. All of the solo vocals were recorded at his studio and the larger orchestra and vocal ensemble sessions and the final mix were done at Chad Irchick's Inception Sound. Twenty four of the country's finest musicians, eighteen of our most talented singer/actors, and the truly unique performer Brent Carver made this project a joy. What happens next is anyone's guess. But you can help it along by ordering a CD. We would be happy to receive feedback so drop us an e-mail and let us know what you think of it.

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Publié le 07 / 05 / 2005.


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