BMG Masterworks/Columbia Records Readies the Release Of Roger
Waters' Long-Awaited Opera, 'Ca Ira'
Lavish First Edition DigiPack Includes Full Opera on Two Hybrid
Bonus "Making Of 'Ca Ira'" DVD,
& 60-Page Four-Color Booklet Containing Libretto,
Cast Credits, & Original Illustrations
"Ca Ira" In Stores Tuesday, September 27
NEW YORK, May 26 -- Sony BMG Masterworks/Columbia Records is
proud to announce the release of "Ca Ira," Roger Waters
long-awaited "operatic history of the French Revolution,"
on Tuesday, September 27.
The lavish first edition of "Ca Ira," an opera in three
acts for full orchestra, soloists and choirs, will include a double
SACD DigiPack and a deluxe 60 page four-color booklet including
Roger Waters' lyrics based on Etienne Roda-Gil's original French
libretto, the original illustrations created by Nadine Roda-Gil,
biographies of Waters and the opera's cast, background and
production notes on the opera.
As a bonus for Roger Waters fans, "Ca Ira" includes a
special DVD documentary chronicling the "making of" the
opera. The "Ca Ira" DVD traces the history of the project,
from conception to completion, and includes revelatory interviews
with Waters and the musicians and cast of "Ca Ira" as well
as exclusive in-the-studio footage of the recording of the opera.
"Ca Ira" is being released in the hybrid SACD (Super Audio
CD) format in Dolby Digital 5.1 SurroundSound. The hybrid SACD disks
are compatible with standard CD players.
Waters, who co-founded the groundbreaking rock group Pink Floyd in
1966, began to bridge the worlds of rock and classical music in such
pioneering major works as "The Dark Side Of The Moon"
(1973) and "The Wall" (1979) in which he incorporated
elements of operatic form -- theatricality, coherent narrative,
dramatic arcs, thematic music and song cycles -- in a pop context.
Waters' work on "Ca Ira," his first opera for full
orchestra and voice, began in 1989, during the Bicentennial of the
French Revolution. The well-respected and successful songwriter
Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife, Nadine, had created an original
libretto for an opera, written in French, as part of the
Bicentennial. Entitled "Ca Ira," after a revolutionary
song of the period, the Roda-Gil's original manuscript, copiously
and beautifully illustrated by Nadine, portrayed the events and the
spirit of the French Revolution through a multitude of
perspectives--ranging from Marie Antoinette to the eyes and ears of
the period's revolutionaries and common people--using a circus as a
central theatrical framing device and metaphor.
Introduced to Etienne Roda-Gil by a mutual friend, Waters was
immediately and deeply impressed by the passion and the power of
Etienne's manuscript and began work on creating a full orchestral
score for "Ca Ira." Work on the project was suspended when
Nadine died tragically of leukemia. Several years passed before
Roger and Etienne returned to "Ca Ira."
In 1997, Roger began writing an English version of the text. "It's
not just a translation," he says. "I've stuck very much to
the spirit of Etienne's original, adding to it somewhat. Although
it's rooted in the history of the revolution, its philosophical
slant is, I suppose, contemporary as well. It's more than just a
history of the French Revolution, it's a piece about the human
potential for change."
The finished version of "Ca Ira" features orchestration
and choral arrangements by Rick Wentworth and Roger Waters, also the
album's producers. Principal characters in the opera are brought to
life by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (the Ringmaster, the
Troublemaker, Louis Capet - the King of France); internationally
acclaimed soprano Ying Huang (Marie Marianne - the Voice of Liberty,
Reason and the Republic, Marie Antoinette - the Queen of France);
American tenor Paul Groves (A Revolutionary Priest, A Military
Officer); and Nigerian "one man orchestra" Ismael Lo (a
Other parts are sung by Jamie Bower (Honest Bird - the young
Revolutionary Priest) and Helen Russill (Madame Antoine - the young
Before the rise and fall of the guillotine, before the terror took
hold, the People of France fought for a better world based on the
ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity rather than one ruled by
a callous and outmoded nobility. It is this story of hope and
promise that inspired "Ca Ira." Set during the optimistic
early days of the French Revolution, "Ca Ira is a work of
stunning power and beauty, invoking the passion, madness, and
triumph of faith in a time that forever changed the nature of the
Columbia Records, 26th May 2005