“Quench the Fire” (Masquerade Dance #2) from Romeo and Juliet the musical. Book and Music by Conrad Askland. Lyrics by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet the musical © 2015 Conrad Askland.
I’ve just released additional video clips from my 2015 production of “Romeo and Juliet the musical”. The show opened January 30, 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
MORE VIDEO CLIPS – SCROLL DOWN!
This was an intense and detailed project to infuse music into the original Romeo and Juliet play. I decided early on in development to use the original words from the original William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet theatrical play. This meant that as a composer/lyricist I couldn’t just come up with lyrics to bridge different emotions or to round out rhyming couplets. The challenge was sticking to William Shakespeare’s original text and discovering ways to support or bend the subtext of each situation.
When I started writing the music, many in the production team assumed I was going to do a clever modern day Romeo and Juliet. That didn’t appeal to me, partly because when I began to score the work in late 2013, there was a Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet that had just been pummeled by reviewers for watering down the text, and it’s inherent sophistication of thought, of William Shakespeare’s original text.
I have also personally been extremely underwhelmed by Shakespeare productions that think it is clever, or even interesting, to place Shakespeare’s plays into modern eras. For example, putting Romeo and Juliet into World War II or putting Hamlet into the Civil War. The reason I don’t care for that approach is that inevitably (at least with non-professional productions) the focus becomes about this “new era” instead of the more important elements of the actual text delivery and acting. For me, putting music to Romeo and Juliet is drastic enough and if I’m going to stick with Shakespeare’s original text when it should be put squarely into its original time period (when the Shakespeare Romeo Juliet play first hit the stage): 1492.
So I knew early on that I had two rules to follow:
- The musical would only use Shakespeare’s original text
- The time period for the piece would be the same as when Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet first went on the stage: circa 1492.
Ah, so much to say about this production. But here you go, more video clips from “Conrad Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical” to the original words of William Shakespeare:
Video Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet the musical by Conrad Askland
“I Fear Too Early” – Romeo solo song
Paris at the Tomb
Nurse’s Song from Romeo and Juliet the musical
Music Overture to Romeo and Juliet the musical – (Full length version)
“Come Vial” Juliet solo from Romeo and Juliet the musical
“Go Counselor” Juliet solo from Romeo and Juliet the musical
Bedroom Scene video and music from the Romeo Juliet musical
“I Fear Too Early” Romeo solo from Romeo Juliet musical production
“Come Gentle Night” Juliet solo song from the modern Romeo Juliet musical
“Measure of Thy Joy” Romeo solo song and “They Are But Beggars” Juliet solo song
Romeo and Juliet Meet – The famous Masquerade scene from Romeo and Juliet
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This shrine the gentle fine is this
My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss
The Queen Mab speech from Romeo and Juliet
Father I Beseech You – Juliet pleads with her father
“We Are Undone” – Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo has killed Tybalt
I hope these clips reach some educators looking to incorporate Shakespeare with musical theater. I would love to see this production done by a university.