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The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is a 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart's 1986 stage musical, which is based on the novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux. The film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher and Webber and Webber produced the film. The cast includes Gerard Butler as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum (who was only 17 at the time of filming) as Christine Daaé, Patrick Wilson as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, Miranda Richardson as Madame Giry, Jennifer Ellison as Meg Giry, and Minnie Driver (whose vocals were dubbed by Margaret Preece, a professional opera singer) as Carlotta Giudicelli. Ramin Karimloo (who had been playing Raoul in the London production of Phantom at the time of filming) appeared in a cameo role as Christine's father.
The film was a USA/UK co-production that had various distributors worldwide. For example, Warner Bros. (a main production partner) distributed the film in the USA, and Universal Pictures (producers and/or distributors of the 1925, 1943, and 1962 adaptations of the book) released the film in Latin America and Australia.
Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and poet, generally known just by her first name, Jewel. She has received three Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 27 million albums worldwide, and almost 20 million in the United States alone.
Kilcher debuted on February 28, 1995 with the album, Pieces of You, which became one of the best selling debut albums of all time, going platinum twelve times. In her career, she has released several albums, usually switching genres between working on her albums. Her most recent album, Perfectly Clear, her first country record, was released on The Valory Music Co. in 2008. It debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and has featured two charted country singles, "Stronger Woman" and "I Do". The former peaked at #13, and "I Do" has made the Top 40.
Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983 in Muskogee, Oklahoma) is an American country singer-songwriter. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, and has become a multi-platinum selling recording artist and a multiple Grammy Award winner. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was certified seven times platinum and is the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history.
Her second album, Carnival Ride, was released on October 23, 2007. It has so far sold about 2 million copies To date, Underwood has sold over 11 million records in the United States. Underwood was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on May 10, 2008.
Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe for his great skill as a performer; to this day, many consider him to have been the greatest pianist in history. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse oeuvre, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
Liszt has most frequently been credited to have been the first pianist who gave concerts with programs consisting only of solo pieces. An example is a concert he gave on March 9, 1839, at the Palazzo Poli in Rome. Since Liszt could not find singers who — following the usual habit of the time — should have completed the program, he played four numbers all alone.
Liszt was a prolific composer. Most of his music is for the piano and much of it requires formidable technique.In his most famous and virtuosic works, he is the archetypal Romantic composer. Liszt pioneered the technique of thematic transformation, a method of development which was related to both the existing variation technique and to the new use of the Leitmotif by Richard Wagner. Liszt's piano works are usually divided into two classes. On the one hand, there are "original works", and on the other hand "transcriptions", "paraphrases" or "fantasies" on works by other composers.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (often abbreviated as Corpse Bride) is a 2005 stop-motion-animation film based loosely on a 19th century Russian-Jewish folktale version of an older Jewish story and set in a fictional Victorian era village. It was directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and filmed at 3 Mills Studios in London. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specially created) as the voice of the title character. This is the first animated film in which Johnny Depp has been a voice actor. The film's initial release was two weeks prior to that of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, marking the first time that a stop-motion animated film and a claymation animated one were in simultaneous wide theatrical release. Interestingly, both films feature the voice of Helena Bonham Carter in a lead role and a character named Victor. Coincidentally, Burton's first stop-motion film, The Nightmare Before Christmas was released the same year as Nick Park's The Wrong Trousers.
The film was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. It lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The film is dedicated to the memory of Joe Ranft.
The movie exhibits Burton's trademark style and recurring themes (the complex interaction between light and darkness, and of being caught between two irreconcilable worlds). Life is portrayed as boring and dully gray tinted while death is more fun, as evidenced by the brighter colors and jaunty music. The movie can be particularly compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton's previous stop-motion feature project (directed by Henry Selick and based on a Tim Burton poem, which Corpse Bride director Mike Johnson worked on as an animator) and Beetlejuice, especially in the scenes depicting the underworld and its deceased denizens. The studio intentionally emphasized the links, as some commercials for Corpse Bride were accompanied by songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas (specifically, "What's This"); also, in an issue of Disney Adventures, Emily (the title character) was compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas's Sally, despite the stark contrasts in personality between the outspoken, free-spirited Emily and the quiet, timid Sally. The Corpse Bride is also considered to be the spiritual successor of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Most of the characters in the film bear a strong resemblance to the original cast of the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. In the "Special Features" section of the DVD, Tim Burton states that the films' setting pays tribute to the series, with the Land of the Living being the "upstairs", and the Land of the Dead being the "downstairs".
Pink Floyd are an English rock band from Cambridge. The band initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone. Pink Floyd have influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes; and contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.
Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group by the late-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).
In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name and eventually they reached a settlement out of court, under which Gilmour, Mason and Wright would continue as Pink Floyd. They again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.
After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.
The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band from Wilmette, Illinois, (a suburb of Chicago) that formed in 2001. The band consists of Patrick Stump (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, primary composer), Pete Wentz (bass guitar, backing vocals, primary lyricist), Joe Trohman (lead guitar), and Andy Hurley (drums, percussion).
Fall Out Boy has won several awards for its album From Under the Cork Tree. Released in 2005, the album has achieved double platinum status after selling more than 2.5 million albums in the United States. In support of the album, Fall Out Boy headlined tours in 2005 and the year before 2007 in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe.
In February 2007, the band released Infinity on High to major chart success, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 and selling 260,000 copies in its first week. The first single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race", reached #1 on the Pop 100 and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. To promote the album, the band performed at the Live Earth concerts July 7, headlined the Honda Civic Tour through mid-2007, and the band performed at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 9. The band has toured numerous times, most recently on the Young Wild Things Tour with the Plain White T's, Gym Class Heroes, and Cute Is What We Aim For.
Dire Straits were an English rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played — indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful, with their first album going multi-platinum globally.
The band's best-known songs include "Sultans of Swing", "Romeo and Juliet", "Tunnel of Love", "Telegraph Road", "Private Investigations", "Money for Nothing", "Walk of Life", "So Far Away", "Brothers in Arms" and "Calling Elvis".
Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler have sold in excess of 118 million albums to date.
3 Doors Down is an American rock band formed in 1994 in Escatawpa, Mississippi by Brad Arnold (vocals and drums), Matt Roberts (guitar) and Todd Harrell (bass). The band signed to Universal Records after the success of their song "Kryptonite". The band has since sold well over 15 million albums worldwide since their debut album, The Better Life, which was released in 2000. They also perform more than 300 concerts a year and have shared the stage with other artists such as Tantric, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Staind, Nickelback, Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin, Econoline Crush, Hinder, Seether, Shinedown, Finger Eleven, and Daughtry. Hit song It's Not My Time is featured in the video game NHL 09.
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977, middle name sometimes written Aron)a was an American singer, musician and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly referred to as the "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or "The King".
In 1954, Presley began his career as the first performer of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.
In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-one movies—mainly poorly reviewed, but financially successful, musicals. In 1968, he returned with acclaim to live music in a television special, and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems, drug dependency and other factors led to his premature death at age 42.
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, O.S.31 March 1685, N.S. – 28 July 1750, N.S.) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Fly to the Sky (Korean: 플라이 투 더 스카이) is a South Korean R&B duo, consisting of Korean-American Brian Joo and South Korean native Hwanhee.
Initially marketed as a duo that can sing, rap, and dance, their early works featured bubblegum pop and upbeat techno music. The duo later changed their image and style with the release of Sea of Love in 2002. With their subsequent albums, the duo solidified their status as R&B artists and are credited as the first R&B duo of South Korea.
Oliver! is a British musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. It first appeared in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, and was made into a film directed by Carol Reed in 1968.
The musical is loosely based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. That it was the first musical adaptation of a Charles Dickens work to become a stage hit was one of the reasons why it attracted such attention. There had been two previous Dickens musicals in the 1950s, both of them television adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but the dramatic story of Oliver Twist was the first Dickens work to be presented as a successful stage musical. Another reason for the success of the musical was the revolving stage set, an innovation designed by Sean Kenny.
The show launched the careers of several child actors, including Davy Jones, later of The Monkees; Phil Collins, later of Genesis; and Tony Robinson, who later played the role of Baldrick in the television series Black Adder. The singer Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie) also featured in early line-ups, eventually graduating to the role of Artful Dodger in the West End production.
The plot of Dickens's original novel is considerably simplified for the purposes of the musical, with Fagin being represented more as a comic character than as a villain, and large portions of the latter part of the story being completely left out. Although Dickens' novel has been called antisemitic in its portrayal of the Jew Fagin as evil, the production by Bart (himself a Jew) featured many Jewish actors in leading roles: Ron Moody (Ronald Moodnik), Georgia Brown (Lilian Klot), and Martin Horsey.
John Stephens (born December 28, 1978) better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist. His debut studio album, the multiplatinum-selling Get Lifted, was released in late 2004, and features collaborations with rapper and producer Kanye West as well as Snoop Dogg. Get Lifted produced two singles: "Used to Love U" (US top 100, UK top 30) and "Ordinary People" (US and UK top 30). Legend has won five Grammy Awards. Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Notably, Legend sang the hooks for hits by Slum Village ("Selfish", also featuring Kanye West), Jay-Z ("Encore"), and Dilated Peoples ("This Way", also featuring Kanye West); played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything"; and sang background vocals on Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road."
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.
Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.
Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.
Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won 12 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and has sold over 55 million albums worldwide. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history, selling 30 million records worlwide. According to RIAA and United World Charts, Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and was a success as well. Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept, So-Called Chaos and latest release Flavors of Entanglement. In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.
Sonata Arctica is a Finnish power metal band from the town of Kemi, originally assembled in 1996. Their later works (most notably Unia) contain some elements typical of progressive metal.
Tony Kakko − Vocals (all studio vocals) & keyboards on Ecliptica and Winterheart's Guild
Elias Viljanen − Guitar, live backing vocals
Marko Paasikoski − Bass guitar, live backing vocals (formerly guitar)
Tommy Portimo − Drums
Henrik Klingenberg − Keyboards, live backing vocals
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, released in theaters on June 15, 1994 by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd film in the Disney animated feature canon. The film was the highest grossing animated film of all time until the release of Finding Nemo (a Disney/Pixar computer-animated film). The Lion King still holds the record as the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history. This film also belongs to an era known as the Disney Renaissance.
The story, which was strongly influenced by the Shakespearean play Hamlet and Disney's 1942 classic Bambi, takes place in a kingdom of anthropomorphic animals in Africa. A musical film, The Lion King garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in music. Songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, with an original score by Hans Zimmer. Disney later produced two related movies: a sequel, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride; and a part prequel-part parallel, The Lion King 1½.
The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the original motion picture soundtrack for Walt Disney's The Lion King. The songs were written by Elton John and Tim Rice. The original score was composed and arranged by Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack was recorded in three different countries, namely: USA, UK and South Africa.
Letters to Cleo was an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, best known for the 1994 single "Here & Now", from their full-length debut album Aurora Gory Alice (the band attained exposure outside of Boston due to the album's popularity). The band's members were Michael Eisenstein, Kay Hanley, Stacy Jones, Greg McKenna, Scott Riebling, and later, Tom Polce.
The group disbanded in 2000 but reunited for a small tour in 2008. As of early 2016, the members of the band have hinted (as opposed to outright announcing) via social media that they are back in the studio working on a new Letters To Cleo album, with an assumptive supporting tour in the near future.
George Frideric Handel (Friday, 23 February 1685 - Saturday, 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios and concerti grossi. Born as Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, he spent most of his adult life in England, becoming a subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727. His most famous works are Messiah, an oratorio set to texts from the King James Bible; Water Music; and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the English composer Henry Purcell, his music was known to many significant composers who came after him, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Handel's compositions include 42 operas; 29 oratorios; more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets; numerous arias; chamber music; a large number of ecumenical pieces; odes and serenatas; and sixteen organ concerti. His most famous work, the Messiah oratorio with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become a centerpiece of the Christmas season. Also popular are the Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi, as well as "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", in which birds are heard calling during passages played in different keys representing the vocal ranges of two birds. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.
Handel introduced various previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornets (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).
Michael W. Smith (born October 7, 1957) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer and songwriter. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in Contemporary Christian Music, and he has achieved considerable success in the mainstream music industry as well. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and he has earned 34 Dove Awards. Over the course of his 24-year career, he has sold more than 13 million albums and he has recorded 29 number-one hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Mr. Smith is an American Music Award recipient and he was named one of People magazine's most beautiful people.
Michelle Jacquet Branch-Landau (born July 2, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. She made her debut in 2000, and released the platinum-selling albums The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper in August 2001 and June 2003 respectively. During this period, she collaborated with Santana on the single "The Game of Love", which won a Grammy Award. In 2004, she formed the musical duo The Wreckers with fellow musician Jessica Harp. Michelle Branch will release her first solo album with Warner Bros. Nashville, Everything Comes and Goes, in February 2009.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
"We Three Kings of Orient Are" also known as "The Quest of the Magi" is a Christmas carol (technically an Epiphany carol) written by Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who wrote both the lyrics and the music as part of a Christmas pageant for the General Theological Seminary in New York City. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns and Song in 1863.
Hopkins was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1820, and died in Hudson, New York in 1891. He was a clergyman, author, book illustrator, stained glass window designer, and editor of the Church Journal out of New York. He was the son of John Henry Hopkins, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont and the eighth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. In 1872, John Henry Hopkins became rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Plattsburgh, NY.
Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Ferencz Liszt, in modern usage Ferenc Liszt, from 1859 to 1865 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. He was also the father-in-law of Richard Wagner. In 1865 he became abbot in the Roman Catholic Church.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller is a Tony Award-winning musical with a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical is based on the 19th century fictional character Sweeney Todd, though more specifically, the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond.
Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979 and ran for 557 performances. It was directed by Harold Prince with musical staging by Larry Fuller, and starred Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett. The musical tells the story of Sweeney Todd, who was previously known as Benjamin Barker, who returns from Australia where he has spent fifteen years on false charges. When he learns from Mrs. Lovett, whose meat pies are the worst in London, that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by Judge Turpin (the man who wrongly imprisoned him), and that his daughter is the ward of the same Judge Turpin, he vows revenge.
A feature film adaptation of Sweeney Todd, jointly produced by Dreamworks and Warner Bros., was released on December 21, 2007. Tim Burton directed from a screenplay by John Logan. It stars Johnny Depp as Todd (Depp received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for his performance), Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, Sacha Baron Cohen as Signor Pirelli, Jamie Campbell Bower as Anthony Hope, Laura Michelle Kelly as The Beggar Woman, Jayne Wisener as Johanna, Ed Sanders as Toby, and Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford.
Sondheim's score is one of his most complex to date, with orchestrations by his long-time collaborator Jonathan Tunick. It relies heavily on counterpoint and rich, angular harmonies. Its compositional style has been compared to those of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, and Bernard Herrmann (who scored Alfred Hitchcock films). Sondheim also quotes the ancient Dies Irae Gregorian chant, both as part of the eponymous ballad that runs throughout the score, later heard in a musical inversion, and in the accompaniment to "Epiphany". He also relies heavily on leitmotif - at least twenty distinct ones can be identified throughout the score. Depending on how and where the show is presented, it is sometimes considered an opera. Sondheim himself has described the piece as a "black operetta." An original Broadway cast recording was released in 1979. It included the Judge's "Johanna" and the tooth-pulling contest from Act I, which had been cut in previews.
Lestat is a Broadway musical inspired by Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles.
This was the first theatrical score from the legendary songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Book by Linda Woolverton, and was directed by Robert Jess Roth with musical staging by Matt West.
The Broadway production opened on April 25, 2006 in the Palace Theater and closed on May 28, 2006.
The title role of Lestat was played by Hugh Panaro. The show was directed by Robert Jess Roth, who was a Tony Award nominee for his Broadway directorial debut for Beauty and the Beast, and also starred Carolee Carmello as Gabrielle, Drew Sarich as Armand, Jim Stanek as Louis, Roderick Hill as Nicolas, Michael Genet as Marius and Allison Fischer as Claudia.
Scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Jonathan Deans, visual concept design by Dave McKean, and hair design by Tom Watson.
Parade is a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The musical was first produced on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 17, 1998. The production was directed by Harold Prince and closed 28 February 1999 after only 39 previews and 84 regular performances. It starred Brent Carver as Leo Frank, Carolee Carmello as Lucille Frank, and Christy Carlson Romano as Mary Phagan.
The musical won Tony Awards for best book and best score (out of nine nominations) and six Drama Desk Awards. The show has enjoyed a U.S. national tour and numerous professional and amateur productions both in the U.S. and abroad.
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.
In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.
John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.
Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Anastacia (born Anastacia Lyn Newkirk; September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Anastacia has been highly successful in Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America, but has had only minor success in her native United States. Her debut album, Not That Kind, released in 2000, achieved multi-platinum sales in Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe, was critically acclaimed by Elton John and Michael Jackson, and had the 4th biggest European single and biggest Australian single of 2000. She was awarded 'Best-selling International Artist' in 2000. Her next two albums also earned multi-platinum sales throughout Europe and Oceania making her one of the fastest and biggest-selling artists of the new millennium.
In 2005, she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million albums/records. Anastacia is world-renowned for her powerful soul voice, and her small stature – 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm). She was also known for her trademark glasses (often darkly tinted), but she had surgery to correct her vision permanently in August 2005.
Michael Giacchino (Italian pronunciation: ; born October 10, 1967) is an American composer who has composed scores for movies, television series and video games. Some of his most notable works include the scores to television series such as Lost, Alias and Fringe, games such as the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series, and films such as Mission: Impossible III, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cloverfield, Ratatouille, Up, Super 8, Cars 2, 50/50, and John Carter. Giacchino has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy, multiple Grammys, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award.
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, warbling soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
David Lanz (born June 28, 1950 in Seattle, Washington) is a Grammy-nominated New Age pianist. He has released 13 albums, each having some chart success. His most famous album, Cristofori's Dream, topped the New Age charts in 1988, which was Number One on Billboard's first adult alternative/New Age chart for 27 weeks and eventually sold platinum. Natural States peaked at place 125 on the Billboard 200.
Lanz's goal is to have his music create an atmosphere of enlightenment. In an interview with Barnes & Noble, Lanz stated that he wanted to create an atmosphere similar to that of Steven Halpern's music, but with a "more popular hook in it".
Lanz has said himself, " is the most divinely inspired instrument on the planet. It presents a great attraction to our left-right brain relationship. My goal is to create entertainment that also provides enlightenment."
Jim Brickman (born November 20, 1961) is an American composer and pianist. Brickman is known for his solo piano compositions, which are classified as new age music. However, he is as well known for his original love songs and performing them with vocalists such as Martina McBride, Michael W. Smith, Michelle Wright and others.
His music career started when he was nineteen, when Jim Henson hired him to write tunes for Sesame Street. He was also hired to write commercial jingles while in college.
Brickman signed with Windham Hill Records to release his first album, No Words, in 1994. The song "Rocket To The Moon" from that album was the first solo instrumental song ever to be ranked on Billboard's charts. Four of his albums (By Heart, Picture This, The Gift, and Destiny) have all sold over 500,000 copies, qualifying them as gold records in the United States.
Brickman writes a wide variety of music. Besides his piano compositions and love songs, he has also created arrangements of other songs. Several of his albums feature arrangements of children's music; he has produced two Christmas-themed albums The Gift (1997) and Peace (2003); and his 2005 album Grace concentrates on arrangements of well-known Christian music.
Enya (born Eithne Patricia NÃ BhraonÃ¡inon May 17, 1961, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland), sometimes presented in the media as Enya Brennan, is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. She is Ireland's best-selling solo artist and is officially the country's second biggest musical export (after U2). Her works have earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination, and she is also famous for performing in 10 different languages during her lengthy career. Enya is an approximate transcription of how Eithne is pronounced in her native Irish, in the Donegal dialect.
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.
The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.
The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
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