What it is and how it came to be.
I love the romantic, gothic horror genre. I first found my muse with Sondheim’s legendary thriller Sweeney Todd. Then came an equal passion for the strangely jaunty but horrific musical Jekyll & Hyde. I was fortunate to meet Steve Cuden, one of Jekyll’s progenitors and original lyricist. I let it be known that percolating somewhere inside me was a dark, gothic, bloody piece of musical theater in the vein of Jekyll, Phantom and Sweeney Todd. “I want my own mad scientist!” I told Steve. He encouraged me with excellent advice and an insider’s knowledge of the ins and outs, ups and downs of Broadway.
After a dozen years of close collaboration and development, composer Gregory Nabours has produced a symphonic album containing some 30 songs from Masque of the Red Death – a Musical Thriller. Gregory’s music is lush, melodious, and utterly singable. He knew Masque required melodrama and pathos. But he also found the bouncy lighter moments that give the show its balance and human appeal. Highly recognizable motifs and themes are sprinkled throughout the score, helping to define Masque’s characters and their deep emotional conflicts.
There is a Wuthering Heights/star-crossed lovers vibe about Masque. Faithful in spirit to the Edgar Allan Poe short story, it contains dark, gut-wrenching moments that the music captures perfectly. I envy you who are about to hear this magnificent music for the first time. It is a cathartic emotional journey, made for the times we live in, both tragic and triumphant.
Wendy Pini – Masque creator