Alain Boublil

Last updated

Alain Boublil (born 5 March 1941) is a French musical theatre lyricist and librettist, best known for his collaborations with the composer Claude-Michel Schönberg for musicals on Broadway and London's West End. These include: La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1985), Miss Saigon (1989), Martin Guerre (1996), The Pirate Queen (2006), and Marguerite (2008).

Musical theatre work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

A lyricist or lyrist is a person who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's melody.

Claude-Michel Schönberg is a French record producer, actor, singer, songwriter, and musical theatre composer, best known for his collaborations with lyricist Alain Boublil. Major works include La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1985), Miss Saigon (1989), Martin Guerre (1996), The Pirate Queen (2006), and Marguerite (2008).

Contents

Life and career

Boublil was born in Tunisia, to a Sephardic Jewish family. [1] Boublil's first musical, La Révolution Française , was the first-ever staged French rock opera. It was conceived by Boublil in 1973 after he watched the premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar in New York. [2] The composer was Claude-Michel Schönberg, with whom Boublil has since collaborated on a number of successful projects, including Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. [3] Les Misérables first opened in Paris in 1980.

Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews or Sephardim, originally from Sepharad, Spain, or the Iberian peninsula, are a Jewish ethnic division. They established communities throughout areas of modern Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity, which they took with them in their exile from Iberia beginning in the late 15th century to North Africa, Anatolia, the Levant, Southeastern and Southern Europe, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement, either alongside pre-existing co-religionists, or alone as the first Jews in new frontiers. Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia began to decline with the Reconquista and was brought to an end starting with the Alhambra Decree by Spain's Catholic Monarchs in 1492, and then by the edict of expulsion of Jews and Muslims by Portuguese king Manuel I in 1496, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions and executions.

La Révolution Française is a French rock opera by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Raymond Jeannot, book by Alain Boublil and Jean-Max Rivière, created in 1973. The show premiered at the Palais des Sports de Paris.

A rock opera is a collection of rock music songs with lyrics that relate to a common story. Rock operas are typically released as concept albums and are not scripted for acting, which distinguishes them from operas, although several have been adapted as rock musicals. The use of various character roles within the song lyrics is a common storytelling device. The success of the rock opera genre has inspired similar works in other musical styles, such as rap opera.

On 8 October 1985, an English-language production of Les Misérables produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird premiered in London at The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Barbican Theatre. The show transferred to the West End's Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985. It is the longest-running musical in West End history.

<i>Les Misérables</i> (musical) musical, premiered in French in 1980, in English in 1985

Les Misérables, colloquially known in English-speaking countries as Les Mis, is a sung-through musical based on the 1862 novel of the same name by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. The musical premiered in Paris in 1980, and has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original French-language lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. An English-language libretto was written by Herbert Kretzmer. The London production has run continuously since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks.

Cameron Mackintosh British theatre and musical producer

Sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh is a British theatrical producer and theatre owner notable for his association with many commercially successful musicals. At the height of his success in 1990, he was described as being "the most successful, influential and powerful theatrical producer in the world" by the New York Times. He is the producer of shows such as Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon,Cats, and Hamilton.

Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE is an English theatre director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed dramas for the stage, like Macbeth, as well as opera and musicals, such as Cats (1981) and Les Misérables (1985).

Les Misérables

Productions based on the Nunn/Mackintosh staging of Les Misérables have been staged all over the world, including a second French production which opened in Paris in 1991. Worldwide, Les Misérables has been seen by over 50 million people, with a total box office gross of over $1.8 billion.

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon opened in London on 20 September 1989 where it played for 10 consecutive successful years at the Drury Lane Theatre. It spawned two US touring companies, a Toronto production and has been seen by more than 13.2 million people in North America for a gross of $612 million.

<i>Miss Saigon</i> musical

Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's story of marriage between an American lieutenant and a geisha is replaced by a romance between a United States Marine and a seventeen-year-old South Vietnamese bargirl.

Other works

With Javier Arroyuelo and Rafael Lopez Sanchez, Boublil worked on the French translation of The Rocky Horror Show for its French premiere in 1975 [4] [5] .

Javier Arroyuelo Argentine writer

Javier Arroyuelo is an author and journalist.

<i>The Rocky Horror Show</i> musical

The Rocky Horror Show is a musical with music, lyrics and book by Richard O'Brien. A humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s, the musical tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist, Dr Frank-N-Furter, unveiling his new creation, a sort of Frankenstein-style monster in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky Horror, complete "with blond hair and a tan".

Alain and Daniel Boublil created Abbacadabra, a French children's musical based on songs from the pop group ABBA, for French television in 1983.

Martin Guerre reached the West End in 1996 and won the 1997 Olivier Award for Best Musical. Productions on tour in the UK and the US, and Europe followed, but the show failed to repeat the success of its two predecessors.

Boublil has also written the play Le Journal d'Adam et Eve, based on two short stories by Mark Twain. It premiered in Paris in 1994 at Le Petit Montparnasse.

He has worked on the stage adaptation of Jacques Demy's Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, together with composer Michel Legrand, that opened at Le Palais des Congrès in 2003.

Boublil and Schönberg's The Pirate Queen —a musical about the 16th century Irish pirate, chieftain and adventuress Grace O'Malley—debuted at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre in fall 2006. It then moved to Broadway, where it closed in 2007. The musical starred Stephanie J. Block as Grace, and Hadley Fraser as Tiernan.

The musical Marguerite is by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, and includes music by Michel Legrand and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Set during World War II in occupied Paris, and inspired by the romantic novel The Lady of the Camellias (by Alexandre Dumas, fils), Marguerite is about the mistress of a high-ranking German officer who attracts the love of a pianist half her age. The musical premiered on 6 May 2008 at the Royal Haymarket Theatre in London. [6] Marguerite received its London revival at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick in October 2012. Staged by Alex Parker Productions, the revised show had a new book by Boublil and Guy Unsworth, and a reworked score (adaptation, orchestration and arrangement) by Jude Obermüller.

He was nominated for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globe Awards for the song "Suddenly" from the 2012 film version of Les Misérables . [7]

Family

Alain Boublil has had two sons Stefan Boublil, born in 1969, and Sébastien born in 1975 with his first wife Francoise Pourcel. He then had two more boys, Adrien and Maxime with his second wife, Marie Zamora. Stefan went on to have two children with his wife, Gina Alvarez. These children, born in 2002 and 2006, are named Zoel and Leeloo.

Related Research Articles

Michel Legrand Film score composer from Paris, France

Michel Jean Legrand was a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and jazz pianist. Legrand was a prolific composer, having written over 200 film and television scores, in addition to many songs. His scores for the films of French New Wave director Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), earned Legrand his first Academy Award nominations. Legrand won his first Oscar for the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).

Herbert Kretzmer, OBE is a South African-born English journalist and lyricist. He is best known as the lyricist for the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables as well as for his long-time collaboration writing the English-language lyrics to the songs of French chansonnier Charles Aznavour.

Ruthie Henshall British actress, singer and dancer

Valentine Ruth Henshall, known professionally as Ruthie Henshall, is an English actress, singer, and dancer known for her work in musical theatre. She began her professional stage career in 1986, before making her West End debut in Cats in 1987. A five-time Olivier Award nominee, she won the 1995 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Amalia Balash in the London revival of She Loves Me (1994).

John Owen-Jones Welsh musical theatre actor and singer

John Owen-Jones is a Welsh musical theatre actor and singer, best known for his portrayals of Jean Valjean in Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg's Les Misérables and of The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

Frances Ruffelle is an English musical theatre actress and recording artist. She won a Tony Award in 1987 and represented the United Kingdom in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Lonely Symphony ", finishing 10th. The song became a UK Top 30 hit.

Enda Markey actor, singer

Enda Markey is an Irish-born Sydney-based theatrical producer and former singer and actor. He is the producer of the stage productions Side by Side by Sondheim and the international tour of Boublil & Schonberg's Do You Hear The People Sing? and the Australian revival of Willy Russell's Blood Brothers.

John Dempsey is an American theatrical lyricist and playwright who has worked in Britain and the United States. His work has been produced in Japan, Brazil and other countries. Much of his work in musical theater has been written with composer Dana P. Rowe. With Rowe, he wrote the book and lyrics for Zombie Prom (1995), The Fix, and the stage adaptation of John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick (2000). Rowe and Dempsey were nominated for the Olivier Award for The Fix and The Witches of Eastwick, both of which were produced in London by Cameron Mackintosh. He was the co-lyricist for The Pirate Queen, collaborating with composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricist Alain Boublil.

Jérôme Pradon is a French actor and singer who has performed in the West End, in Paris and in various other places around the world. He was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

Øivind Blunck is a Norwegian comedian and actor.

<i>Martin Guerre</i> (musical) musical

Martin Guerre is a two-act musical with a book by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, lyrics by Alain Boublil, Edward Hardy and Stephen Clark, and music by Claude-Michel Schönberg.

Joanna Ampil, is an awarded musical theatre and film actress from the Philippines.

"One Day More" is a song from the musical Les Misérables. The music was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. It is the final song of Act I and is one of the most famous and iconic songs of the musical.

<i>Marguerite</i> (musical) musical

Marguerite is a musical with a book by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Jonathan Kent, lyrics by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer, and music by Michel Legrand, with original French lyrics by Boublil. Based on the romantic novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, the musical updates the story to 1940s German-occupied Paris. It tells the tale of a 40-year-old ex-singer and her affair with a young musician who is mixed up with the French Resistance, whilst she is the mistress of a Nazi officer.

On Reflection: The Very Best of Elaine Paige is a compilation album by Elaine Paige, released in 1998.

"Suddenly" is a song created for the 2012 film adaptation of the musical Les Misérables, included in both the film itself and the related soundtrack album. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2012.

Eva Maria Noblezada is an American actress and singer.

References

  1. Behr, Edward (1993). The Complete Book of Les Miserables. Arcade Publishing. pp. 47–50. ISBN   978-1-55970-156-3.
  2. Whitney, Craig R. (September 23, 1989). "America's Vietnam Trauma Is the Stuff of British Musical". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  3. https://www.lesarchivesduspectacle.net/?IDX_Spectacle=13394
  4. http://data.bnf.fr/39484272/rocky_horror_show_spectacle_1975/
  5. "New Musical From 'Les Miz' Team". The New York Times. July 10, 2007.
  6. "70th Golden Globe Awards Nominations". Deadline.com. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2014-07-04.