BAD ROMANCE

5pm, Sunday 31 March, 2019

Drill Hall, Melbourne

EPIC OPERA MEETS JAMES BOND

Siegfried Interlude (1999)

Matthew Hindson (AUS)

Heard of the Ring Cycle? (Not on your tumble-drier). It’s a 16-hour epic tale told across four operas by composer Richard Wagner. It features all the bad romance you could possibly imagine - betrayal, murder, exile and not-quite-right-too-close family relations set in the kingdom of the gods. The first opera, Siegfried, introduces the title character and main hero (whose love is destined for a bad ending…sorry, spoiler alert). Aussie composer Matthew Hindson shamelessly steals musical themes from Wagner’s opera and reworks them in a pumping, James-Bond-esque march. It’s a wild ride to the bad prom.

THE INNOCENCE OF YOUNG LOVE

Balcony Scene from Romeo & Juliet (1997)

Craig Armstrong (UK)

In Aussie director Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo & Juliet the traditional balcony scene is scrapped for an intimate meeting in a swimming pool. The light reflects on the young lovers as they dance around each other before falling in, soaked and enamoured. Blissfully in love, they snatch kisses in the water. Juliet turns to leave…

R: “Willst thou leave me so unsatisfied?”

J:”What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?”

R:“The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine…”

A smile blossoms on her lips:

J: “I gave thou mine before thou didst request it!”

And so they embrace, lovingly, greedily. Professing their love. Young, innocent, full of hope. They playfully hide from Juliet’s nurse, unwilling to let each other go just yet, unaware of the fate that awaits them.

 

NOT YOUR AVERAGE COUPLE

House of Cards Suite (2015)

Jeff Beal (USA)

The Netflix series House Of Cards is a hybrid story that layers Shakespearian and Machiavellian intrigue over a backdrop of contemporary American politics. At it’s core, House Of Cards is a story of the marriage between politician Frank Underwood (F.U.) and his wife, Claire. It is a twisted love story of two people seeking power, by whatever means necessary.

Beginning with the simple spare piano, the A minor Waltz theme ("I Know What I Have To Do"), is the musical embodiment of this union. Their theme often accompanies scenes at windows - our anti-heroes partake of the forbidden fruit of a cigarette, speaking dialogue which seems to contain layers of innuendo and darkness only two protagonists of such cunning and sophistication could muster. 

Jeff Beal’s score echoes the complex, dangerous, and sly waters the couple treads in their quest for power and revenge. The music is laden with ambient sound effects and a relentless sense of unease.

BITTERNESS

Could I Leave You? from Follies (1971) featuring Marianne Rigby-Black, vocals

Stephen Sondheim (USA)

Follies is an entire musical about messed up relationships, old flames, under-appreciation and love triangles. Phyllis, a stylish and elegant woman, and her husband Ben, a wealthy politician and philanthropist, are having problems. She feels under appreciated and is dwelling on all she’s sacrificed for her marriage. She confronts Ben, declaring things can’t continue the way they have. He responds by asking her for a divorce. Unsurprisingly, she’s a tad enraged…

BAD ROMANCE

Lady Gaga Fugue (2011)

Giovanni Dettori (IT) arr. Larry Moore (USA)

If Lady Gaga travelled back in time, and wrote her song Bad Romance in the style of Bach it might sound like this. Ba-roque on.

I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it's free
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love

I want your drama
The touch of your hand
I want your leather studded kiss in the sand
I want your love
Love-love-love I want your love

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

HEARTBREAK

When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2 (1999) featuring Benjamin Sametz, vocals

Randy Newman (USA) arr. John Moss

It hurts when you’ve been abandoned…even if you’re just a childhood toy.

A FATAL DANCE

Death By Tango* (2009/2019)

Edward Fairlie (AUS)

Inspired by Argentinian composer, Ástor Piazzolla this tango is a dance to the death, after a crime of passion. The scene is set – a court room. We open with a plaintive plea for leniency from the accused violin. A voice of support is heard by a lone clarinet. The horn and oboe provide eyewitness accounts of the events. The jury considers the facts and deliberates, but it doesn’t take long to reach a verdict. Gulity! The brass, strings and woodwinds cry as the clarinets and oboes gossip between themselves. Now all that’s left is the sentencing. Our accused hasn’t a friend in the world – the decision is unanimous: Death By Tango. The doomed violin has time for one more song of sorrow before the courtroom bids her adieu, adieu, adieu.

*Part of our Made in Melbourne Project featuring local composers. Commissioning this work was made possible by our Triennial Arts Grant from the City of Melbourne

THE MOST DOOMED COUPLE

 West Side Story Selection (1959)

Leonard Bernstein (USA) arr. Jack Mason

I Feel Pretty - besotted and giddy, young Maria is crazy in love.
Maria - Tony is equally enraptured by the girl he’s just met.
Something’s Coming - Could it be? Yes it could! Something’s coming, something good. Maybe tonight?
Tonight - Bernstein’s balcony scene, where the young couple profess their love for each other.
One Hand, One Heart - Tony and Maria make vows: Make of our hands, one hand. Make of our hearts one heart. Only death can part us now…
Cool - As testosterone runs high, the gang leader implores his troops to restrain themselves: Boy, boy, crazy boy - stay cool boy! Got a rocket, in your pocket, stay coolly cool boy.
America - Some of the Puerto Rican’s love their new life in America, but not all of them are so happy about their immigrant life:…I like to be in America, OK by me in America, Ev’rything free in America…for a small fee in America. :(

THE ORCHESTRA

Conductor Ingrid Martin
Concertmaster  Teresa Wilkie

Piccolo Ella Tuncliffe-Glass
Flute Stephanie Lai, Elise Rodrigo
Oboe Skye Robinson, Meg Bowker
Cor Anglais Meg Bowker
Clarinet Kimberly Ho, Elizabeth Dedman
Bass Clarinet Alexandra Tan
Bassoon Phoebe Leggett, Nicholas de Weger
Alto Saxophone Mira Stephens, Terence Liu
Tenor Saxophone Erin Murphy
Baritone Saxophone Beau Webb
Horn Susan de Weger, Claire McLean, Aidan Ratcliff, Ramona Downie-Berry
Trumpet Benjamin Sametz, Declan Ditchfield, Ryan Doherty
Trombone Allan Pennings, Rebecca McHeyzer, Angus Pace
Tuba Alicia Parry
Percussion Ardian Strybosch, Ben Ingvarson, Matt Usatoff, Gabriel Iannou-Booth
Violin I Teresa Wilkie, Michael Patton, Jackson Fumberger, Samantha Law, Georgia Wyldbore, Connor Vincent
Violin II Vivian Cantera, Miriam Randles, Siew-Ching Wan, Andrew Lin, Tamer Mikhaiel, Lucy McKenzie-McHarg
Viola Matt James, Mengfei Hu, Mariam Chung, Mayzie Wallen
Cello Kiya van der Linden-Kian, Zoe Frasnos, Claire Oakley, Charlotte Kube
Double Bass Che Iannou-Booth, Jordan Tarento, Steve Hornby
Electric Bass Steve Hornby
Harp Laura Winter
Piano Luke Speedy-Hutton

Prom Decorations Asli Ibrahim
Audio Production
Bob Moody
Recording Engineer Thomas D’Ath
Front of House Marie Kyriakoudis, Marcus de Weger
Bar Eleanor Pullin
Beer Palling Bros. Brewery

COMMITTEE

President Susan de Weger
Secretary Matt James
Treasurer Alex Rosenfeld
Librarian Stephanie Lai
General Committee Teresa Wilkie, Mariam Chung, Mengfei Hu, Ramona Downie-Berry

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