UNBREAKABLE From Andrew Lippa And SF Gay Men's Chorus is Available Today
Ghostlight Records has announced the release of Unbreakable - Original Cast Recording in physical, digital and streaming formats today, Friday, February 8. Spanning 120 years of unsung history, Unbreakable is an epic choral work exploring the gay experience in America through the words and music of Andrew Lippa. It was recorded live at its world premiere featuring The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus with soloists Britney Coleman, Marcus J. Paige, Lisa Vroman, and Andrew Lippa at Nourse Theater in San Francisco, CA in June 2018. The CD package includes a 36-page booklet with full lyrics, performance photos, a synopsis, and liner notes from show producer and Academy Award-winner Bruce Cohen. The album is produced by multiple Grammy Award-winner Leslie Ann Jones, with Andrew Lippa serving as executive producer. Order the album at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/unbreakable
Unbreakable will be presented by ten more choruses across the country in the 2019-2020 season.
Focusing on a curated selection of stories throughout American LGBTQ history from 1900 through the present day - inspired by the African American playwright August Wilson, who wrote a collection of 10 plays chronicling the black experience in the 20th century - Unbreakable is a heartrending and ultimately triumphant look at where we've been, what we've come through, and who we are today. Most of all, Unbreakable is a tribute to the perseverance and power of a people who would not be defeated and could not be broken.
Unbreakable features subjects including Harvard's "Secret Court" of 1920, the life of transgender and gay activist Sylvia Rivera, The Lavender Scare, the remarkable work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, and Bayard Rustin, a black gay social-justice advocate who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lippa explains: "Unbreakable is celebration; it is derision; it is memory; it is aspiration; it is wholeness and brokenness and loss and triumph and creativity and joy. It is us. Unbreakable is a 14-movement experience in words and music, filled with powerful yet sometimes forgotten figures. It is filled with the kind of singing that can move mountains and the kind of singing that can break hearts. Unbreakable is, at its core, an evening about hope and family, about belonging and believing, about trusting in change and knowing that, in time, it comes."
"To be Unbreakable means you are made of something strong," he continues. "Our gay community IS made of that kind of strength. Throw your worst at us: misguided law; disease; derision; dismissal. We will always rise. We will always hold hands and remind you we are, and always have been, Unbreakable."
Andrew Lippa conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a new production of his musical A Little Princess in concert in London at the Royal Festival Hall in May 2018 to a sold-out crowd of nearly 3,000 people. His hit song "Evil Like Me" appears in Disney's film Descendants. Written for Kristin Chenoweth, that soundtrack hit #1 on the "Billboard 200" album chart, #1 on the iTunes and Billboard soundtrack charts, has been viewed over 70 million times on YouTube, and "Evil Like Me" was certified gold in 2017. That same year, Lippa opened the new season of the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center with his sold-out concert of "Andrew Lippa and Friends." In 2016 he composed and conducted "Rising Tide," a world premiere piece for the international piano virtuoso Lang Lang and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in China.
His concept opera I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk had its world premiere at The Music Center at Strathmore in 2016 starring Kristin Chenoweth as Anne Hutchinson and Mr. Lippa as Harvey Milk. Summer 2016 saw the US premiere of Life of the Party - a musical compendium of Mr. Lippa's career - produced by Theatreworks in Mountain View, CA and starring Mr. Lippa. In 2017, Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY, presented the world premiere of The Man in the Ceiling. Based on Jules Feiffer's award-winning novel, this musical features a book by Mr. Feiffer and music and lyrics by Mr. Lippa. Directed by Jeffrey Seller (Tony-winning producer of Hamilton), Mr. Lippa played the role of Uncle Lester in this production.
Lippa's Broadway credits include: music and lyrics for Big Fish, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; the Tony Award-nominated music and lyrics for The Addams Family, directed by Jerry Zaks; and music for Aaron Sorkin's play The Farnsworth Invention, directed by Des McAnuff. Other musicals include the Drama Desk Award-winning The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics); A Little Princess (music); john & jen (music/book); Asphalt Beach (music/lyrics); and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (additional music/lyrics and arrangements). His oratorio for men's chorus, orchestra and soloists, I Am Harvey Milk has seen over 30 productions including Disney Hall and Lincoln Center. His honors include: Tony and Grammy nominations; shared Emmy for Nickelodeon's "The Wonder Pets"; SFGMC Vanguard Award; the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award; ASCAP's Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award; the Drama Desk Award; and the Outer Critics Circle Award. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Lippa serves as president of the board of The Dramatists Guild Foundation. andrewlippa.com
THE SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN'S CHORUS, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, courageously serves as the international standard bearer for a powerful and accomplished mix of high-caliber performance, human rights, community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBT organizations. Founded in 1978, it was the first organization of its kind and is credited with starting the LGBT choral movement, galvanizing and changing the course of LGBT history. It continues to rally and inspire other arts-based community organizations around the world. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC has in recent seasons established a heightened level of performance standards receiving audience and choral acclaim, increased its touring and recording profile and broadened its impact and reputation in the community while maintaining its signature blend of humor, personality and high-voltage performances. sfgmc.org