A selection of some of the newer piano-vocal scores available for browsing in the Agnes Robertson Music Scores Room in the Arts Library:
Proving that just about anything can be turned into a musical, this stage adaptation of the animated film hit has proved remarkably resilient beyond its initial lavish Broadway run. Ogres, dragons, donkeys, etc., etc. all strut their stuff in a show that seems light-years away from the worlds of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim!
Speaking of Bernstein, this lovely selection of songs roams far and wide across his astonishing Broadway output to highlight some of the best bits from shows such as On The Town, Candide, Wonderful Town, Peter Pan and (of course) West Side Story. “The Wrong Note Rag” from Wonderful Town is a real corker!
American composer Jake Heggie shot to fame in 2000 with his opera Dead Man Walking, based on the memoir of Sister Helen Prejean. He has since followed this up with a number of other theatrical works, but perhaps his most ambitious undertaking so far is this opera based on that great, spawling poetic masterpiece, Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
Offenbach’s songs from the great operettas: complete original music for 38 songs from 14 operettas by Jacques Offenbach
I can remember seeing a hilarious production of Jacques Offenbach’s deliriously silly operetta Ba-Ta-Clan staged by the Australian Opera (as it was then) in the early 1980s; its almost Pythonesque sense of totally manic absurdity seemed utterly modern to me then, as it still does all these years later! A head full of great tunes, a comic sense to die for and an ability to poke fun at just about anybody and anything, even Friedrich Nietzsche was seduced by what he called Offenbach’s “moments of wanton perfection.” Charmant!
Of course, some people don’t know a good tune when they hear one…..