The Creative Process of Another Brick in the Wall Musical Opera

The Creative Process of Another Brick in the Wall Musical Opera

In an era of political uncertainty and the rise of fascism, Pink Floyd’s 1979 concept album The Wall may seem like an unlikely candidate for a rock opera. But Quebec composer Julien Bilodeau’s Another Brick in the Wall, based on Waters’ lyrics, is a unique take on the genre that defies the traditional notions of rock music and aims to tell a story that would be impossible to convey in conventional musical form.

The creative process

When Pierre Dufour, director of Opera de Montreal, first approached Roger Waters about creating a musical version of The Wall, he didn’t expect that Waters would be interested in making it an opera. But after hearing Bilodeau’s proposal, Waters immediately endorsed it and signed on as the singer of Pink in the opera.

At the time, Dufour had been working with Waters on his previous work, Les Feluettes, which was also created from a novel concept. While rehearsing for the latter, he had been listening to The Wall and realized that it could be the perfect basis for an opera.

“I think it is a great idea,” Dufour said, adding that he felt The Wall’s strong narrative structure and thematic elements make it a great fit for an opera. And so he began to work on a draft of the libretto.

The production process

Once that was approved, it was time to write the score. The team began with the lyrics and adapted them to suit an opera’s needs, meaning that each song is written for the specific character who sings it. The opera is about a man named Pink, whose life comes back to him in flashbacks after he collapses in a hospital. The lyrics tell the story of a broken man who has constructed an emotional wall that he builds around himself to isolate himself from the world.

There are some striking moments in the opera, such as Pink’s girlfriend attending a protest where police beat down prisoners. And the way that the riot-police swoop in to chase down prisoners in slow motion is harrowing.

But the opera doesn’t always succeed in achieving its symphonic vision. The vocalists’ performance is not always as smooth as it should be, and some dialogue isn’t quite right.

Musical Opera

It explains why it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the singers and what they are doing at any given moment.

Despite the speed of the production, however, it remains a fascinating look at how a band can take their music and create something new from it. It’s a testament to how artistic directors and performers are willing to embrace change and try to create new works with fresh perspectives, even in a world where everything is becoming more standardized and predictable.