Why People Love Another Brick in the Wall Musical Opera

Why People Love Another Brick in the Wall Musical Opera

For many, prog-rock and opera have always seemed an unlikely pairing. Yet, when composer Julien Bilodeau and playwright Dominic Champagne adapted Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking 1979 album The Wall for the Stage, it changed the music world. The result is an entirely new genre: the musical opera.

The opening scene of Another Brick in the Wall at Music Hall strips away the glitz and glamour of a typical opera. Rather than most operas’ extravagant sets and costumes, a simple curtain rises to reveal a bare backstage view of an arena-style concert filled with flashing lights and a rowdy crowd.

This scene is a recreation of an incident at a Pink Floyd concert in 1977. During the performance, Pink invited a fan to climb onstage. When the fan spit in Pink’s face, Waters became agitated. He mused about building a wall between himself and his fans.

It is a frank and often poignant story of isolation and alienation, a theme that’s as relevant today as ever. The opera’s creators tapped into that sentiment, crafting a tale of an isolated rock star who builds a psychological wall around himself.

In this case, Pink constructs his wall to protect himself from trauma and loneliness. But unfortunately, throughout his life, he endures a series of traumatic events that eventually become his source of isolation.

 Wall Musical Opera

Ultimately, however, the protagonist’s relationship with himself heals and allows him to reconnect with others. Whether it’s through his father’s death, a disastrous marriage, or a series of rage-fueled benders, Pink eventually reclaims his life and rebuilds his walls.

Aside from a few rearranged lyrics, Another Brick in the Wall keeps most of the songs’ original melodic themes and vocal lines. That may seem daunting initially, but it’s important to remember that the alterations don’t mean Bilodeau changed everything about the original compositions.

One of the most notable alterations is in the song “Part 2,” originally written as a single track to be used as a part of the album The Wall but has since been interpreted as a protest against corporal punishment and rigid school systems. However, the song has been embraced by conservatives who see it as an anti-establishment chant.

This interpretation has led to some controversy, with Waters arguing that he doesn’t agree that such an approach is appropriate. However, he also points out that he has never been a fan of governmental corruption and has consistently denounced it in his work.

The other major change in this adaptation is the presence of a children’s choir. The chorus is an integral component of the story, and in this version, it plays a much bigger role than it did in the original.

In the original version, Pink’s parents are just a voice in the background, but they’ve fully developed characters here. In addition, the character of his sadistic teacher is fleshed out with a full cast of voices.