The art form of the Musical Theatre is nearly one hundred years old and, like jazz, it is an authentic American craft that has influenced artists around the world. Some of America's greatest composers have worked in the musical theatre: Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, have all written songs that delighted and moved us, as well as integrating song and story.
Is The Scarlet Pimpernel the first musical you've ever seen? Do you have ideas about what a musical should sound like? Listen to the score- how do the music and the songs compare to the music you listen to?
The Baroness Orczy wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel alone. But the theatre is a collaborative art form- it is by necessity a team effort to bring a grand musical like The Scarlet Pimpernel to the stage. The composer creates the melodies and the "musical vocabulary" of the show, as Frank Wildhorn puts it. The lyricist works with the composer, putting the words to the melodies. The book writer writes the spoken words between the songs- in essence, writing the "play" of the show.
These artists work together, sometimes over a period of years, to create the beautiful sounds of the musical.
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