"King's Speech" director to take on "Les Miserables"

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by CaptainCanada, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Damn, lots of cuts. I figured there'd be a new song or two so they could be considered for best original song at Oscar time (or whatever that category is.)
     
  2. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just listened to the live 2010 cast recording, and, although some people might disagree with me, I came to the realization/conclusion that the filmmakers could very easily compose On My Own in the same lower key as Come to Me/Fantine's Death without fundamentally changing it, and the former song is well within Taylor Swift's established range.
     
  3. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    The key of On My Own also shows helps in conveying Éponine's hope and love for Marius and her resignation to the fact he loves Cossette and not her. In The Epilogue she and Fantine are calling to Valjean to Hevean, the lower key helps them convey that and, if I'm not mistaken, it also helps lead into the Do You Hear the People Sing?, reprise.

    Again, if Swift takes the part I'll be rooting for her. I don't want the musical to fail.
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Personally, I think staging On My Own in the lower key of Fantine's Death would better fit Eponine's state of mind and the lyrics of the song, but some people might call that sacrilege.

    As an aside, I tried to picture Hugh Jackman, et al singing the first 13 songs of the show in place of the 2010 cast, and, with the exception of Monsieur Thenardier, was able to do so very easily. The reason I couldn't imagine Sacha Baron Cohen singing in place of the actor playing Thenardier in the live 2010 cast recording is because I'm not that familiar with the way he (SBC) performs, since the stuff he usually does doesn't really appeal to me and I haven't seen Sweeney Todd.
     
  5. nvek86

    nvek86 Commander Red Shirt

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    Would they really have to cut that much if it's 2,5 hours long? The 10th anniversary concert was pretty much the same length.
    And maybe they won't cut whole songs, but only shorten them by a few verses (like in Burton's "Sweeney Todd").
     
  6. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    I figured they'd probably add some new music. But if they're cutting it down a lot (and they'll have to), there's plenty of room for new music to cover the way the story has been changed.
     
  7. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't see how her singing the song in a movie would prevent Taylor from hitting certain notes because the song is not sung on a theater stage. In fact since movie songs are recorded in a studio, I think the vocal performance has a chance to be that much better than live theater singing.

    I think the one of the things most are concerned about is the songs being rearranged to make them easier for Taylor to "handle". Those breathy barely there pop/folk vocals which have given her a shockingly great pop music career simply aren't enough for the role she has undertaken. I hope, as do others, she has something in reserve. BTW, "Safe and Sound" did nothing to give me any more confidence in Taylor's vocal ability.
     
  8. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Things might be worse for Swift. LINK
    LINK confirming that the cast will not be prerecording their singing. Thinking about it, it's not a big surprise, There is no spoken dialogue in the musical
     
  9. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As Vanyel pointed out, the performers will be doing their songs LIVE, which is why I suggested that the filmmakers might be best served in staging On My Own using the slower and lower key of Fantine's Death/Come to Me in lieu of staging it traditionally (the two melodies are the same, but when it is used for On My Own, it's sped up considerably), because it would then minimize any issues that might arise should Swift be unable to hit the range of notes on On My Own exactly, but wouldn't significantly alter the song in any way.

    I've noted this before, but I come from a very musically-inclined and vocally gifted family (both immediate and extended), and have personally seen two of my younger sisters sing songs that, on the surface, seem wrong for their voices - based on how they traditionally sing - and sing them flawlessly with very little to no alteration/re-arranging required. My sisters are both very talented, but they are nowhere nearly as talented as Taylor Swift, and it is for this reason that I personally believe that she'll be able to handle the role of Eponine without any problems whatsoever.

    Having said that, Les Mis does have what I would consider to be a built-in 'safety mechanism' on the off-chance that Taylor can't hit the notes normally required for On My Own.

    That 'safety mechanism' is the slower-keyed version of the OMO melody that is used for the song Fantine's Death (Come to Me). That slower-keyed melody is well within Taylor Swift's traditional vocal range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  10. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Slowing the song down is a problem.

    I'll use The Sound of Music as an example. The Lonely Goatherd, is an upbeat fast song, but it's also used as the song for dancing the Ländler. It's slowed down an slightly rearranged, but the same song. If someone with a weaker voice than Julie Andrews or Mary Martin had to have The Lonely Goatherd slowed down to accommodate their range, the Ländler would have also needed to be slowed down to distinguish it from The Lonely Goatherd.

    The same would apply with On My Own, otherwise if it's slowed down it'll be a reprise of Fantine's Death (Come To Me).
     
  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I disagree, because the two songs - Fantine's Death and On My Own - have completely different lyrics. By the logic you're operating on, there are a number of songs in Les Mis that would be considered reprises.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  12. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvP7Jv8rUK4[/yt]
    I can see your point however, On My Own, sped up and lound and clear to show the emotions of Éponine, her revolation that Marius never loved her more than as a friend. Slowed down and in a lower key it works to show Fantine's despair and her momentary delusional state (Hows she calling to Cossette, likes she's near by), and her asking Valjean to take and care for Cossette.

    And has been said before On My Own is the song many singers hope to be able to belt out with the emotion and power (Like my favorite Éponine, Lea Salonga) to really prove their pipes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  13. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To me, the lyrics are what conveys the emotional intent and resonance of On My Own, moreso than the speed of the melody. Having said that, though, I do firmly believe that Taylor is going to be able to sing the song as it is meant to be sung, and only mentioned the idea of it being slowed down as an observation and as a sort of 'last-ditch' option on the off-chance that Taylor - as talented as she is - is physically unable to hit the notes on the traditional faster arrangement of OMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  14. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Now I need to disagree I offer these as proof:
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I7XCBzTC3I[/yt]

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvt1DFkeoDI[/yt]
     
  15. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm. I don't expect you to agree with my opinion on this, although I don't know whether or not those clips provide the best example because the second one is really different in more than just melodic speed, whereas, in the case of Les Mis, at least IMO, Fantine's Death and On My Own really are interchangeable melodically.

    As an aside, my favorite cast recording of Les Mis is the new live version, because I really like the talent involved, and actually think that the way Rosalind James performs On My Own is a better fit for the lyrics than Lea Salonga's. As good as she is, her version of the song seemed a little bit too fast and high for her, at least to me, and particularly in comparison to her performance(s) in the role that I am most familiar with her in, that being Princess Jasmine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  16. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    At the end of the day (no pun intended) if Swift cannot sing the song as written, the real built in safety net is to have someone overdub her voice. That's the true built in safety net for ALL movie musicals and a similar technique is used in live productions. Audrey Hepburn, sang and recorded tracks for My Fair Lady which were not used. Rita Moreno did not sing A Boy Like That/I Have A Love in West Side Story. And on stage, the actress playing Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, prerecords the highest, and final, note (E6) in the song The Phantom of the Opera.

    My only real point in choosing those two versions of I Want to Hold Your Hand, was to show that it's not just the lyrics, the speed of the song does do a lot to set the mood.

    ETA: My favorite is the 10 Year Anniversary Concert. I want The Complete Symphonic Recording.
     
  17. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since I already mentioned the live cast album, I thought I'd offer a full review since there's not a whole lot to talk about re: the film.

    If it wasn't already evident from my comments concerning On My Own and the actress who performs it, this is not an album featuring the cast of the 25th Anniversary Concert, but instead features the cast of the 2010 U.K. Touring production. In addition to the already-mentioned Rosalind James as Eponine, the cast features John Owen-Jones as Valjean, Earl Carpenter as Javert, Gareth Gates as Marius, Ashley Artus as Monsieur Thenardier, Lynne Wilmot ad Madame Thenardier, Madalena Alberto as Fantine, Katie Hall as Cosette, John Robyns as Enjolras, Toby Prynne as Gavroche, and David Lawrence as the Bishop of Digne.

    I've already mentioned that I really like Rosalind James' performance as Eponine, but John Owen-Jones is another standout. I really like his performances on Who am I? and Bring Him Home.

    Earl Carpenter does a great job as Javert, although I think he's at his strongest when he's singing alongside other members of the cast. Having said that, his rendition of Stars is by no means weak.

    Gareth Gates' voice has a great quality to it that meshes very well with Katie Hall and Rosalind James' voices, and is a perfect fit for Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.

    Madalena Alberto, like Javert, seems to be at her strongest when she's singing with others, but she still does a great job with I Dreamed a Dream.

    My favorite song in the musical overall is Do You Hear the People Sing? but my favorite song in this production is On My Own, followed by Who am I?.

    In conclusion, I really like this version of the show. The cast is great, and the arrangement and orchestration of the music perfectly fits their voices and performances.
     
  18. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Soo... according to Wiki Colm Wilkinson has been cast as the Bishop. If true (it's from The Daily Mail :vulcan:) how about a big "YAY!!!" :techman:
     
  19. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    That'll be cool. Too bad they don't put musicals out a couple of years after they were on stage, like they used to. I'd of like to have seen Colm Wilkinson revise his role as Valjean.
     
  20. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Swift has begun rehearsals with the rest of the rest of cast.

    An official announcement should be coming soon.

    LINK

    I finally saw Valentine's Day, to see how well she could act, and I was not impressed.