Classical work by ex-Pink Floyd bassist to premiere in Rome
(ANSA) - Rome, October 5 - A new opera written by Roger Waters aims at reviving the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity which existed before the French Revolution degenerated into the Terror, the former Pink Floyd bassist explained here .
Waters was in the Italian capital to present his classical work, which will have its world premiere at the new Music Park here on November 17, with a second performance the next day .
The opera, 'Ca Ira', which roughly means 'So It Will Be', is based on a libretto by French composer Etienne Roda-Gil, who has penned songs for Juliette Greco and Johnny Halliday, and Waters began work on the composition in 1989, during the bicentennial celebrations for the French Revolution .
In explaining what drew him to the theme, Water recalled that "my mother was a Communist and when I was little I would sit in on her meetings and watch those black-and-white films by Eisenstein. Certain ideals are part of my upbringing" 'Ca Ira' will be performed in the main Santa Cecilia Hall by some 100 elements from the Rome Symphony and 80 members of its chorus, including children .
A chorus of children was one of the key elements in one of the landmark 'concept' albums Waters wrote for Pink Floyd, 'The Wall' in 1979 .
Waters, who was the driving force behind the British progressive rock group in its heyday of the late 1970s and early '80s, said there was little difference between 'Ca Ira' and 'The Wall' because "music is music" .
"There are only two real differences between the two. One is that instead of using a guitar, bass, keyboard and drums I wrote for an orchestra and chorus; and the second is that the idea behind the opera was not originally mine." Waters rejoined the other members of Pink Floyd for the first time since 1981 when they performed in London for last July's Live 8 global concert .
He split with the group over creative differences with guitarist David Gilmour, who then took over the band .
Looking towards the future, the Pink Floyd bassist did not rule out another reunion because "playing again together at Live 8, doing the old songs, was very moving. For over 20 years David and I maintained extreme positions but now I realise that my behavior was very childish." "As in all things one has to find common ground, meet halfway. That's why I can say today that you never know, it could happen." Turning his attention to the Live 8 global concerts, Waters said that while some criticised the event's organizers, Bob Geldof and U2's Bono, "I take my hat off to them because their commitment produced results." "Politicians never turn down cheap publicity and getting a photo session with a rock star is just that, even for (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair," the British musician quipped .
"But the reality is that just the other day it was decided to forgive part of the Third World's debt. But much more needs to be done," the ex-Pink Floyd member said .
"If we do not do something to resolve the disparity between the rich and poor we run the risk that the anger of the poor will explode. This could even happen in the United States where the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer." During the presentation of his opera, Waters also revealed a special bond he has with Italy. "My father is buried in Anzio, where he was killed during the Allied landing. This makes me feel very close to Italy."
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Roger Waters' opera about the French Revolution to debut in concert in Rome in November
ASSOCIATED PRESS - October 4, 2005
ROME (AP) - An opera by Pink Floyd's bass player Roger Waters about the French Revolution will have its concert debut in Rome next month, organizers said Tuesday.
"Ca Ira (There Is Hope)," is scheduled to show at Rome's Auditorium Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, according to the Music for Rome Foundation, which runs the auditorium. The production features baritone Bryn Terfel, Chinese soprano Huang Ying and tenor Paul Groves.
In a July interview with The Associated Press, Waters said the themes of "Ca Ira" are especially relevant today.
"It's not just a piece about the French Revolution, it's about revolution in a much broader sense, and it's about the capacity that human beings have for personal change," Waters said. "The piece is an exultation and an encouragement to those of us who believe the human race can discover its humanity and its capacity for empathy to the point where it may be possible for us at some point to guarantee the basic human rights of the individual (around the world)."
Waters said the idea for the opera came in 1989, around the time of the revolution's bicentennial.
© 2005 Bob Close, Inc.
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