BWW Reviews: Eric Woolfson's SOMEWHERE IN THE AUDIENCE
Somewhere In The Audience is a celebration of Gaudi, Gambler, Poe and Dancing Shadows; four of the late Eric Woolfson's musicals. This compilation is released on March 18, on what would have been his 68th birthday.
Better known as the creator of The Alan Parsons Project, his musicals might not be instantly recognisable for UK audiences, but they have had massive success in Europe and Asia. It is hoped that these shows will get a revival on a larger stage in the West End and/or Broadway following the release of this recording which features leading musical theatre vocalists, including Oliver Tompsett, Ben Forster, Anna-Jane Casey and Sharon D Clarke to name but a few.
The recording is incredibly well produced and expertly engineered by Haydn Bendall who has a long list of impressive credits to his name. The selection of performers delivering the numbers has clearly been thought out and not one number can be faulted. Woolfson's music is very emotive and well structured. His storytelling abilities are second to none and this is apparent throughout the album. There is a clear build and journey in each of the songs but particularly in 'Parca Guell', sung beautifully by Tim Howar and Louise Dearman, and 'Too Late', also performed by the former with the addition of James Fox. This also shows the sheer skill of these particular performers. Another standout was 'Tiny Star' by Pia Douwes; her seemingly classical trained vocals lent a great deal to the delivery. Another nice contribution is from The Brighton Festival Chorus who add real depth to 'Chorus of Hope' and 'The Bells'.
It is sometimes difficult to 'plug' a recording if the music is not widely known. However, the calibre of the vocalists will definitely help with this and I can highly, highly recommend it. Woolfson is a genius and I sincerely hope some of his shows will be heard - and seen - by a larger audience.