Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical – When Shakespeare meets musical theatre

 

Conrad Askland presents: Romeo and Juliet (The Musical).

When William Shakespeare meets musical theatre.

*Original article on the BandCampDiaries website at: https://thebandcampdiaries.com/post/652902300001714176/conrad-askland-presents-romeo-and-juliet-the

June 2021 – It’s safe to say that Conrad Askland is not your average artist and composer. His creativity transcends “traditional” music release formats, in favor of a broader approach, which touches so many different genres and influences. From pop and uptempo folk-inspired dance music, down to musical theatre and plays, anything goes. Conrad has recently released a brand new project, Romeo and Juliet (The Musical). Any theatre enthusiast will tell you that tacking a Willam Shakespeare work is not easy, especially when it comes to turning such a well-known classic into a musical with a different twist! Thankfully, Conrad really managed to accomplish something amazing with this one, and listeners won’t be disappointed, even those who might not be familiar with the original version of Romeo and Juliet! If anything, this adaptation could be a great incentive for someone to go and pick up the collected works of The Bard! This happens to be Conrad’s third full-length musical theater project, and it still stands out as one of his most distinctive achievements. Although the musical play premiered in 2015, it was released as a full-length Youtube Video over at the artist’s official channel, linked at the bottom of this article.

This amazing project is a perfect example of what it’s like to produce great musical theatre pieces with a focus on great scoring inspired by neoclassical music composers.

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Love Never Fails (Reprise) from PTGA

“Love Never Fails (Reprise)” from the musical Pray the Gay Away®. Music by Conrad Askland (ASCAP).

In the 2019 performance run, “Love Never Fails (Reprise)” was the closing song in my musical Pray the Gay Away®. The story is a very heart-felt project aimed at bringing an understanding of the painful world of gay conversion therapy to mainstream audience. The PTGA team and myself worked in partnership with PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to bring support and awareness to our local audiences. We also provided a lot of information about The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Prevention) to our audiences with information in the programs and materials that The Trevor Project supplied to us.

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Agnus Dei Miserere

 

“Agnus Dei” music by Conrad Askland. Originally released by Road Records on the CD “New Faces Vol. 4”. Vocalists Carlotta Diggs (alto) and Karen Etheridge (soprano). Agnus Dei © 2001 Conrad Askland (ASCAP).

Some of my favorite Agnus Dei music is by Samuel Barber, Mozart and Schubert. As a child boy soprano I sang many masses by the great composers and always loved the sound of original Latin music texts. The Agnus Dei is traditionally one of the movements from the Catholic mass.

My version of the Agnus Dei was always intended as more of a character piece for film. I wrote it in 3/4 time with traditional orchestral snare rolls and cymbal crashes that I think gives it a slightly Viennese and aristocratic feel. Because of the aristocratic feel, I always pictured this song playing as an underscore to a screen element that is both dark and carefree. For example, a scene where The Joker is unleashing his mayhem with glee, when Hannibal Lecter is enjoying his glass of Chianti while his plans are unfolding, or yes, an underscore to Trump taking his mask off on the White House steps pretending he is Superman.

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The “I Like Chocolate” Song

Words and Music by Conrad Askland (ASCAP). “I Like Chocolate” © 2007 Conrad Askland.

I ascribe by the motto of “What was funny in third grade will always be funny.” This is MAYBE the silliest song I’ve ever written, and I’ve written a LOT of very silly songs.

I almost never write a song “just to write a song.” There’s always a reason for a song when I write it. I’m very utilitarian, or practical, in that way. “I Like Chocolate” was written for a very specific reason: to make third-graders laugh. And here’s the story all about that…

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Romeo and Juliet the musical – Online Premiere – Full Show (English)

I’m excited to announce that my musical “Romeo and Juliet” is now available to watch on YouTube (Full Show – English)

I composed the music for this stage production entirely to the original text of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The RJ musical premiered on stage January-February 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. This video is from the live stage performance on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015.

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The Lord’s Prayer Song – Orchestral Music for Soloist and Choir

The Lord’s Prayer – Music by Conrad Askland (ASCAP). © 1997. Orchestral music for soloist and choir.

The lyrics for my rendition of the Lord’s Prayer are from Matthew 6:9-13 which cover through “but deliver us from all evil.” As Wikipedia would have you know: “Other ancient authorities add, in some form, For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Prayer

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Tribute to Abraham Lincoln

Tribute to Abraham Lincoln  – the Greatest U.S. President. Background music is Piano Nocturne #14 “Aqua” by Conrad Askland.

It was a very moving experience to work on this video. In the past month I have been creating some videos about historical characters and actual historical figures. This was one of my favorites, to be able to spend time alone (virtually at least) with the great Abraham Lincoln. I am always moved by his quote that encourages us to follow “the better angels of our nature.” To me it is a similar hopeful thought akin to the early U.S. settlers who dreamed of “a city upon a hill.” We fall short. We always do. But we can strive and we can be encouraged to be the better side of who we are as individuals, as a nation and as a global community.

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