RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer, 1902-79) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist, 1895-1960) joined forces in 1943 to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in the American musical theatre.  OKLAHOMA!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, blending Rodgers' sophisticated style of musical comedy (which he had perfected in a twenty-five year partnership with lyricist Lorenz Hart) with Hammerstein's innovations in operetta (conceived in collaboration with such composers as Sigmund Romberg, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml and Jerome Kern.)  OKLAHOMA! was followed by CAROUSEL (1945), ALLEGRO (1947), SOUTH PACIFIC (1949), THE KING AND I (1951), ME AND JULIET (1953), PIPE DREAM (1955), FLOWER DRUM SONG (1958) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1959).  The team also wrote one movie musical, STATE FAIR (1945; adapted to the stage, 1995), and one for television, CINDERELLA (1957). Collectively, their musicals have garnered dozens of awards including: Pulitzer Prizes; Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys; and Drama Desk, Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics’ Circle, Laurence Olivier, and Evening Standard Awards.

'Bali Hai' from 'South Pacific

WHY WE'VE CHOSEN THIS NUMBER: A gorgeous haunting number...

 

ABOUT THE NUMBER: The name refers to a mystical island, visible on the horizon but not reachable, and was originally inspired by Espiritu Santo's sighting of Ambae island in Vanuatu, where author James Michener was stationed in World War II.

Hammerstein's lyrics for "Bali Ha'i" were inspired by the stage backdrop which designer Jo Mielziner had painted. Feeling that the island of Bali Ha'i did not appear mysterious enough, Mielziner painted some mist near the summit of its volcano. When Hammerstein saw this he immediately thought of the lyric, "my head sticking up from a low-flying cloud" and the rest of the song followed easily from that.

ABOUT THE MUSICAL:

The plot centers on an American nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II, who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A secondary romance, between a U.S. lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman, explores his fears of the social consequences should he marry his Asian sweetheart. The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical. 

 

Because he lacked military knowledge, Hammerstein had difficulty writing that part of the script; the director of the original production, Logan, assisted him and received credit as co-writer of the book.

 

The original Broadway production enjoyed immense critical and box-office success, became the second-longest running Broadway musical to that point (behind Rodgers and Hammerstein's earlier Oklahoma! (1943)), and has remained popular ever since. After they signed Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin as the leads, Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote several of the songs with the particular talents of their stars in mind. The piece won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. Especially in the Southern U.S., its racial theme provoked controversy, for which its authors were unapologetic. Several of its songs, including "Bali Ha'i", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair", "Some Enchanted Evening", "There Is Nothing Like a Dame", "Happy Talk", "Younger Than Springtime", and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy", have become popular standards.

The production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Libretto, and it is the only musical production to win Tony Awards in all four acting categories. Its original cast album was the bestselling record of the 1940s, and other recordings of the show have also been popular. The show has enjoyed many successful revivals and tours, spawning a 1958 film and television adaptations. The 2008 Broadway revival, a critical success, ran for 996 performances and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical Revival.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE PRINT LYRIC SHEET OR SHEET MUSIC & BRING WITH YOU OR VIEW INSIDE OUR FREE CHOIR APP. 

Download to your desktop first before printing (do not try to print directly from the website). 

You are required to bring material with you.

 

'June is Bustin' Out All Over' from Carousel

this video is of a different arrangement & is just to give you an idea of the song in general

this video is of a different arrangement & is just to give you an idea of the song in general

WHY WE'VE CHOSEN THIS NUMBER: Upbeat number from the well-loved musical Carousel. 

ABOUT THE MUSICAL: Richard Rodgers once wrote that of all the musicals he wrote, Carousel was his personal favorite. This iconic American classic features some of the most powerful music ever written for the stage, including “If I Loved You”, “Mister Snow”, “June is Bustin Out All Over” and the iconic “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Carousel was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s second collaboration, and was adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s 1909 play Lilliom. They transferred the Budapest setting of Lilliom to the New England coastline, where Carousel takes place. The story tells of charming, roguish carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, and mill worker Julie Jordan, both loners, who meet and fall in love. Their marriage ends up costing both their jobs, and things go downhill from there. Billy’s desperation makes him violent against those he loves most, and drives him to commit crimes in order to provide for his family. When Billy falls in with con-man Jigger Craigin, he ends up getting caught in the midst of an armed robbery and takes his own life. Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. Louise is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father's reputation having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to love’s transcendence. Voted the best musical of the 20th century by Time Magazine, Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel is the classic American musical, spanning heaven and earth in its exploration of human frailty, resilience, and the power of forgiveness.

ANTHONY'S FOCUS FOR THIS SPECIFIC MASTERCLASS:

For this Masterclass, Anthony will be focusing on the style of this genre of music. Try to have a listen to these numbers ahead of time to become very familiar with them, allowing us all to really play around with the dynamics and choral sound.It's easy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE PRINT LYRIC SHEET OR SHEET MUSIC & BRING WITH YOU OR VIEW INSIDE OUR FREE CHOIR APP. 

Download to your desktop first before printing (do not try to print directly from the website). 

You are required to bring material with you.

 

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