Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Ring Of Roses (1996 Original Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Ring of Roses
OpenSkies | Arlington, VA USA | 04/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a musical about the Plague. Yes, it takes place during the Plague, but don't get the wrong idea. "Ring of Roses" is a musical about love and hope and the choices we must make when faced with desperate times.Composer Darren Vallier has crafted a unique piece, in the tradition of other musicals that succeed through graceful treatment delicate subjects: Lizzie Borden, Titanic, Floyd Collins. "Ring of Roses" takes place in a small farming village outside London in the summer of 1665, where the first vestiges of the Plague have forced the townspeople to quarantine their children on a nearby hill. The children become a community in their own right as they discover life, love and death. Meanwhile, the families they left behind anticipate a reunion that in some cases never comes.So how do you bring music to such a story? Mr. Vallier has chosen varied musical styles for the task, including ballads and even a bit of pop. The lovely "Try" is sung by one of the children faced with the decision of running away with her boyfriend. A mother, realizing she will probably not see her daughter again, is given the beautiful lullaby "Goodnight Children." There's even a small bit of vaudeville in the grave digger's "Dig Another Hole": "It's not an easy job for the queasy / A tiny little sneeze and they're buried in a flash / Ain't that a shame!" (The CD also includes three "recorded live" bonus tracks at the end.) The songs are equally divided between adult and children voices. At times, the lyrics are technically demanding (try singing "August 24, 1665" quickly!) but the performers are up to the task. Such smaller orchestrations work well for the subject matter and succeed where a grander approach would fail.I was pleased with "Ring of Roses" and recommend it to anyone interested in history, or to those who want to see how far the boundaries of musical storytelling can successfully stretch. This musical has thus far been staged only in England, but I'm hopeful it will reach American soon so I can attend an actual performance. The CD will hold me over until then."