If I were to choose whom I personally feel to be a genius in Film and Stage Music, I’d say Enio Morricone (see this page) for film and Andrew Lloyd Webber for Stage, although I guess I should say ‘Lord Webber’.
I, like many of my age group, was first introduced to Lloyd Webber through ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ back in the 60’s. In fact I was so impressed by it that I made three return trips to watch it.
Then followed trips to watch ‘Evita’, ‘Cats’ ‘Song and Dance’, ‘Starlight Express’. In fact, all of them I saw more than once, partly because I was such a follower of the music and partly because at that time, my brother Nigel worked for Robert Stigwood and got me free tickets !
Since then, I have followed his music with never ending respect.
For years it seems, he came across to the Public as someone separate, someone you couldn’t approach and to some, even a bit aloof, although I’m sure he never was.
Then a few years back, a sudden change came about. He opened himself to the Public by Chairing the TV programme ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ searching for someone to sing the part of in a new stage adaptation of ‘The Sound of Music’.
The show proved to be such a hit, that the following years continued the theme of searching for new stage musical talent with ‘Joseph’ and ‘Oliver’.
Sure, some could say that he has Business Interests in the ‘Really Useful Company’ and casting shows using TV would be certain of putting bums on seats. But, if you’re 101st in the 2008 Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £750 milion, I don’t think you really need that !
This year, he has just about shocked everyone around the World by bearing himself wide open by selecting the Artist to appear on ‘The Eurovision Song Contest’ and writing the song as well.
Now after so many years at the bottom of the Euro Dustbin with quite a few ‘nil points’, that really does take courage.
The Media are fairly slating the programme it seems, but it’s Jo Public who matter.
So why this change in Lord Webber?
It’s my opinion that he’s simply giving something back. The Public have given him much acclaim and I truly feel he wants to show us all that he is human and approachable.
But, most importantly, he is giving young Talent a chance not only to be on TV, thus recognized, but an opportunity of being coached and overlooked by one of the World’s greatest ever Stage Musical Composers.
What must it be like for these youngsters to stand in front of him, singing and listening to his advice !
There is so much young talent in this Country and it’s hard to make that break from Pub Karoaki or the odd performance in Local Stage Productions. You could say they’re just lucky – but isn’t that what life is about, being in the right place at the right time? Also, there’s the expression ‘Be in it to win it’. The opportunities are there if you have the time and self belief to get there.
I really do applaud what Lloyd Webber is doing. He has brought new people into London’s West End Theatre and they have the opportunities they could have only dreamed about a few years ago.
He’s in a position where he doen’t have to work atall, let alone promising someone he has voted out, the chance to see him personally in a years time to re-assess and help them in their Career.
Well done Andrew mate (sorry, Lord). You’re one of the people, music’s version of Sir Richard Branson (£2,700 million!). I’m sure many don’t begrudge anyone who at least has made their cash by giving the Public something rather than take, take, take like many!