Following the success of Idle's "Spamalot", he is, once again, collaborating with composer John Du Prez. However, according to The Globe and Mail article the show's première will be conducted by Idle's cousin, Peter Oundjian - the musical director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Not the Messiah is due to open at the Luminato Festival of Arts and Creativity in Toronto on June 1st.
But notably, according to this latest article at least, this production will not actually be a musical. It will be an oratorio (a non-costumed, non-acted, concert performance usually dealing with religious subject matter) and it will use 40 musicians and 4 classical singers. Idle notes how it it unlikely to cause offence as there is no crucifixion scene. It's "good-natured playing with the concept of [Handel's] Messiah" as much as anything else.
This latest article includes a few interesting quotations for fans of Life of Brian:
"As Handel's lyricist adapted the Nativity story and the Gospel story," says Idle, "this adapts the story of Brian, a simple boy mistaken for the Messiah, which is his curse." He's talking over the phone from his home in Los Angeles, and the end of that sentence is nearly lost in laughter. The mere thought of Brian Cohen, not-Messiah, still makes him giggle...I love the thought of Idle still giggling to himself at the central concept of Life of Brian almost 30 years later, and it's good to see him exploring more challenging forms and material. I have a lot of respect for artists who continually push themselves and their work in new directions.
Idle remembers the film's shoot in Tunisia as "the most fun we ever had." Graham Chapman gave up his heavy drinking habit partway through the shoot in order to play Brian (a role that John Cleese had coveted for his own)...
Labels: Life of Brian