BLENHEIM PALACE, 1 NOVEMBER 1997

The Look and the Music
Here, the orchestra plays a transition.  I wrote the original music, but with no time to work on the arrangements, relied entirely on my friend, David Carr.  I told him what I wanted, handed him the lead sheets and left for England.  David arranged and recorded the rehearsal demos in Pasadena, California.  In London, Colin Sheen assembled the nine piece Otherworld Festival Orchestra from his Pro Arté Orchestra whom you may have heard play in “Howard's End,” “The Remains of the Day” and the recent BBC TV production of “Tom Jones.”  David flew to London with the parts, rented a van for the equipment, loaded up and drove to Blenheim Palace to rehearse the orchestra for the first time on the day before the show.  (Cartage is not normally the conductor's job, but this extraordinary event called for extraordinary efforts.  Besides, despite his degree from the Royal Academy of Music, David cut his teeth on rock 'n' roll, so he's accustomed to abuse.)

Maidstone Marquee was still erecting the theatre when the electricians began installing the lighting grid.  The next day, the set construction crew began building the set.  Production designer Shaun Moore wrote, “Beyond the ramps, steps and staging to support the forest floor, the set was built entirely on location with parts assembled from hire companies and leaves and woodland dressings raked up and gathered on the grounds of Blenheim Palace.”  Shaun was injured in a car wreck on his way to the scenic artist's studio in Elstree, where the backdrops were being painted.  Art director, Rebecca Brett-Schneider, along with the crew from the set construction company, “Scene-It-All,” carried on with Shaun directing operations from a hard backed chair.  The path (center) from the cromlech to the floor of the marquee is part of my fairy tale set, but the space next to the orchestra was created to allow a roving camera to move in to get a not-quite-reverse angle on the action. 

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