Pink Floyd's Roger Waters' Classical Opera 'Ca Ira' Debuts at #1 on Billboard's Classical Traditional Chart
Released September 27, Sony Classical/Columbia Records' Lavish First Edition Digipak Includes Full Opera On Two Hybrid SACDs,
Bonus "Making Of 'Ca Ira'" DVD & 60-Page Four-Color Booklet
Sold-Out World Premiere Concert Performance Of 'Ca Ira'
Slated For November 17th and 18th in Rome, Italy
"Ca Ira," the new classical opera from Roger Waters, entered the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart at #1 in the first week in stores for the Sony Classical /Columbia Records release.
The recording of Waters long-awaited "operatic history of the French Revolution" was released on Tuesday, September 27, in a lavish first-edition Digipak that includes a complete recording of the work on two hybrid Super Audio CDs in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, which are compatible with standard CD players. The package includes a deluxe 60 page four-color booklet including Roger Waters' lyrics based on Etienne Roda-Gil's original French libretto, the original illustrations created by Nadine Roda-Gil, biographies of Waters and the opera's cast, background and production notes on the opera.
As a bonus for Roger Waters fans, "Ca Ira" includes a special DVD documentary chronicling the "making of" the opera. The "Ca Ira" DVD traces the history of the project, from conception to completion, and includes revelatory interviews with Waters and the cast of "Ca Ira" as well as exclusive in-the-studio footage of the recording of the opera.
"Ca Ira" will have its world premiere in a semi-staged concert performance on November 17th and 18th in Romeat the Santa Cecilia Hall of the Auditorium Parco Della Musica. The concert reunites tenor Paul Groves and soprano Ying Huang with conductor Rick Wentworth, all of whom appear on the recording, and introduces to the work bass-baritone John Relyea. Since the November 17 concert quickly sold out, a second performance has been scheduled for November 18 in the same venue.
Waters, who co-founded the groundbreaking rock group Pink Floyd in 1966, fused the worlds of rock and classical music in such pioneering major works as "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973) and "The Wall" (1979) in which he incorporated elements of operatic form - theatricality, coherent narrative, dramatic arcs, thematic music and song cycles - in a pop context.
Waters' work on "Ca Ira," his first opera for full orchestra and voice, began in 1989, during the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. The well- respected and successful songwriter Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife, Nadine, had created an original libretto for an opera, written in French, as part of the Bicentennial. Entitled "Ca Ira," after a revolutionary song of the period, the Roda-Gil's original manuscript, copiously and beautifully illustrated by Nadine, portrayed the events and the spirit of the French Revolution through a multitude of perspectives - ranging from Marie Antoinette to the eyes and ears of the period's revolutionaries and common people - using a circus as a central theatrical framing device and metaphor.
The finished version of "Ca Ira" features orchestration and choral arrangements by Roger Waters with Rick Wentworth. Waters and Wentworth are also the album's producers. Principal characters in the opera are brought to life by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (the Ringmaster, the Troublemaker, Louis Capet - the King of France); internationally acclaimed soprano Ying Huang (Marie Marianne - the Voice of Liberty, Reason and the Republic, Marie Antoinette - the Queen of France); American tenor Paul Groves (A Revolutionary Priest, A Military Officer); and Nigerian "one man orchestra" Ismael Lo (a Revolutionary Slave). Other parts are sung by Jamie Bower (Honest Bird - the young Revolutionary Priest) and Helen Russill (Madame Antoine - the young Marie Antoinette).
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