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Roger Waters - Ça Ira CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

3.36 | 114 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars You say you want a revolution

Roger really comes up with the unexpected here, and makes a bold attempt at composing the music for a modern opera. The words, or more precisely libretto, were originally written by Etienne and Nadine Roda-Gil. Waters supplied the translation from French into English, and added some further words. The opera tells the story of life in France in the early days of the French Revolution, around the time of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Just to be absolutely clear from the start, this is not prog, it is not even rock. Waters does not (according to the credits) perform on the album at all. All the instrumentation comes from the orchestra, there are no modern instrumental such as guitars, drums, keyboards etc.

That said, while the singing on the album is substantially operatic with classically trained sopranos, baritones, tenors etc, taking the lead roles, there are from time to time more modern sounding vocals. The children's choir for example comes from the "Another brick in the wall" we don't need no education school. At times, Waters music veers towards rock opera overlapping with the type of work Time Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber are renowned for. Overall though, the results remain firmly in the classical. Waters own composition trademarks crop up from time to time, especially his penchant for gently cascading melodies.

The classically trained performers deliver their parts with consummate professionalism, which perversely results in the piece having a certain anonymity. It perhaps fits just a little too well into the operatic mould. The main distinction it has from such works is that the words are in English throughout.

Not being any sort of expert on opera, I cannot offer any informed comment on how well composed this work is in terms of that environment. Whether lovers of that type of music would readily accept this as a bona-fide and legitimate work is something only they can answer. In terms of my own views though, overall the work is highly enjoyable, but unlikely to convert me to becoming a paid up member of OperaArchives.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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