canada goose chateau parka test An Interview with David Caddick
Q: David, I know you’ve been with Andrew Lloyd Webber a long time on stage musicals. Just tell us something about the problems of a film musical like this. What problems does that pose for you?
DAVID CADDICK: I think the question is finding the right kinds of voices. Because we already knew that we would not present the music in exactly the same way as we would on stage. The level of intensity of voice that you can have on stage can be very thrilling, but on screen Alan Parker feels very strongly that we had to go with something far more conversational. Which meant an adjustment of vocal ranges. We would actually transpose most things down. Not because the vocalists were incapable of singing them there, but because it placed the voice at a level much closer to a natural speaking voice. So you listen to people speak to each other, but they’re actually singing. So I think that the task for us all is to actually make people forget that the actors are singing, and you listen to a story being told entirely through music. So that was our challenge.
Then of course came the question of who the actors should be. Madonna very much wanted to play this part, and of course, the question was always that she’s never sung in this way before. Does she have this range in her voice? And what we’ve discovered is that there is an untapped range of voice there that she’d never used in her own music, that was not her style of singing, but she has worked in stretching the voice, in widening that vocal range, working with a wonderful vocal teacher in New York called Joan Lader who has really helped her discover a part of her voice that she never knew she had. And there is a wonderful, bell like purity to her voice that compels you to listen. With the role of Ch we wanted very much to find an actor with a Latin influence. Singing has never been a problem for Antonio Banderas. For Antonio the challenge has been the language, because it’s very difficult to sing very rapidly, to sing at a faster speed than he might normally speak. But his voice is incredibly appealing. And then of course with Jonathan Pryce who as an actor has worked in all three mediums of classical theater, musical theater, and film. I first worked with Jonathan on Miss Saigon, and at that time people said, „Well, does he sing?“ And indeed, it was just that he had never been asked to sing before, but he was always wonderfully keen on music, has a very natural ear, and his voice really sounds wonderful.
Q: And I take it one of the things you’re looking for is that they can sing, but they have to act while they’re singing as well. You have to be telling the story and singing at the same time, don’t you?
DAVID CADDICK: Yes, so that process begins with learning the music. There has to be a foundation set forth for them,
and that foundation is set in the music. And once they know the music, then they can free themselves of it and begin to express themselves naturally as they would in spoken dialogue. But that takes a lot of specific structured rehearsal, of learning notes without any emotion attached to them. And then once the notes are really secure and they can free themselves of having to listen and they know what note lies next, then they can begin to invest the emotion and characterization through that. So it’s a gradual process.
Q: Are you going to be spending more time on the music of this than the actual filming of it? What’s the schedule been like?
DAVID CADDICK: We’ve been recording now over a ten week period. There’s obviously a great deal of music, and it comes together in many different layers. Some of our recording sessions have been with a full scale orchestra of around eighty players. Sometimes we’ve been down to a rhythm section of just five or six players, depending on the scale of the scene. The next stage is to lay in the vocal line, very much under the direction of Alan Parker, and that sometimes is a process of experimentation, of trying different things. But of course, we’re having to make certain decisions at this moment which we may well want to change, because when Alan and the actors arrive on set, they may discover something that previously couldn’t have been thought of. So we also have the capability on set of being able to do some live vocal.
Q: Tell me, is it difficult to re create a big number that someone’s made their own? I mean „Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina“ would be the most famous anthem around the world in musical theater, wouldn’t it? Do you come to it fresh, or do you come to it with all the knowledge that you bring from all the stage musicals?
DAVID CADDICK: I think you approach anything, no matter how well you know it, from scratch again. You really investigate what it is that you want the scene to say, and you develop that with that performer. Madonna had never sung the song before, so she came to it without any baggage attached and was able to find her own interpretation of it, which is new, which is fresh. I think you rediscover the melody as if from anew.
Q: How do you rate this score in the Andrew Lloyd Webber work? How does it rate in the twenty five, thirty years of work he’s done?
DAVID CADDICK: I think it’s Andrew’s best score. I think it’s his most inventive, and the wealth of musical detail in there is really extraordinary. And it happens to be my personal favorite.
Q: And Tim Rice’s work on it how would you rate that?
DAVID CADDICK: I think it’s some of Tim’s finest work also. It was a wonderful collaboration between Tim and Andrew.
Q: Are musicals coming back into fashion? Do think there is now a need out there for a big scale musical like this?
DAVID CADDICK: Certainly the scale of this kind of musical has been popular within musical theater for the past twelve to fifteen years and really championed by Andrew and then taken on by composers like Claude Michel Sch with Les Mis and Miss Saigon. So clearly an audience has accepted this as an artistic way of telling a story, but how that translates to film is, I think, a very different story and yet to be seen.