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Subject: Re: Imelda Staunton in "Gypsy"
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 13 Nov 2016 15:06:05 -0500

text/plain (51 lines)

No, they didn't. 

Staunton sings most of Act I in the standard score keys ("Some People", "Small World", 
"Mr. Goldstone", "You'll Never Get Away From Me").
"Everything's Coming Up Roses" is down a whole step. 
"Together Wherever We Go" is down a half step.
"Rose's Turn" is down a half step.

That's hardly "all of Rose's music" transposed, nor hardly "way down."

Remember that the standard procedure in musical theatre is to fit the vocals to the 
performer, not the other way around. And without the original manuscripts in hand, you 
can't even be sure that Merman sang the "original keys" (i.e. the keys that Jule Styne first 
wrote on paper). 

The published score and rental orchestra parts most likely reflect the keys used for the 
first national tour (that's pretty standard practice). And those are the keys that have 
become the standards over the years (despite the fact that a few of the songs on the 
original cast album are slightly higher - but I'm not entirely sure that reflects what was 
sung in the actual stage production). 

All in all, the musical changes made for Staunton are minimal (and not unexpected at all, 
in terms of how the genre works). 

The big change was in the character interpretation. All brute force, no charm. Madame 
Rose needs to be a strong and determined woman, yes, and she is manipulative - but she 
should not be the one-dimensional dragon lady that Staunton chose to play. We do need to 
understand why Herbie stays with her for so long, and how she got the act as far as she 
did. There has to be some charm there, some humanity. No matter what keys the songs 
are in, lol. (And yes, I agree with Mr. Kane - she did bark too much of the score - and show 
- for my taste as well.)

On Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:33:17 -0500, Premiere Opera <[log in to unmask]> 

>...but they had to transpose all o Rose's music down, way down.

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