You know when you can’t sleep, and you try everything from counting backwards from 100 to picturing yourself in a calming field of rabbits (no, really), but nothing is working so you just think “Stuff it, I’ll get up” and it’s 3 in the morning? Yeah, that. Welcome to my first day of recording principal vocals for the TESS album!
screen legend Glenn Close giving a vocal performance of stunning beauty and control now about to lay down the first tracks as our very own leading lady for the first ever album recording of TESS. Perhaps “excited” doesn’t quite cover it.
And then, thanks to the terrific work of casting director Anne Vosser, there were a few more sleepless nights to come in the weeks ahead as we prepared for recording more West End musical theatre stars in the shape of Tam Mutu, Simon Bailey, Jacqui Tate and James Dinsmore.
Admittedly, there were tears, which isn’t saying much for a blubberbrain like me (the ending of The Sound of Music always has me in pieces!), but the sheer beauty of Siobhan’s voice at some of the story's most tender and intimate moments was truly heartbreaking.
And there were laughs - intentional as well as those best reserved for the outtakes – with Jacqui and James giving us great comic turns as Joan and John Durbeyfield.
And finally, to our London cast. Our aim is to get the TESS album heard by producers and theatre companies and, if they like it, to consider staging the show. Having such “names” involved will certainly help that cause. Names though are not enough. Quality counts. And on this album, it is there in abundance. Our London cast was not only magic to work with, but, in a word, magical to hear. And though there are no guarantees, they have given TESS the chance of a very exciting future ahead.
Thank you for reading and following the progress of TESS. Please feel free to leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
Next time on d'Blog... A look back at progress on the TESS album.
A little over a year ago, the score and libretto of Tess were being finalised into a workable draft, ready to be put in front of the kind of people it needed to be put in front of at that stage in the long journey towards production.
Around the same time, a certain leading man was stepping out onto a Broadway stage in the title role of a new musical based on Pasternak’s famous epic of the Russian revolution, Dr Zhivago. Tam Mutu won rave reviews from the likes of the Washington Times, which described him as “really wonderful” and “utterly perfect”, and he was nominated for a prestigious Drama League Award.
Now, as the creators of another new musical based on a classic novel, composer Michael B and I are enjoying the extraordinary privilege of listening to that same soaring voice delivering the role of Alec d’Urberville, Thomas Hardy’s scheming villain who’s responsible for our heroine’s initial downfall.
Thank you for reading and following the progress of the show. Please feel free to leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
Next time on d'Blog... More commentary from the studio as things get busy on the production of the TESS album
MASTER AT WORK
INTERVIEW WITH A COMPOSER
ANOTHER MICHAEL'S STORY
THE LAST 5 MONTHS
LONDON STUDIO DAYS
A DAIRYMAID'S DIARY
IN THE STUDIO WITH TAM MUTU
THE ADVENTURE ROLLS ON
IT'S PRE-PRODUCTION TIME!
WHERE ARE ALL THE D'BLOGS?
A HERSTORY (THE FINAL PHASE)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 4TH)
THE LYRICIST SPEAKS
RECORDING TESS - THE SINGER
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 3RD)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 2ND)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 1ST)
REVIEWS & REVELATIONS
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ALEC
ONE HELLO IS HOW IT STARTS