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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

Jacob vit au pays de Canaan avec ses douze fils. Joseph, le cadet, est son enfant préféré. Jacob lui offre une superbe tunique de plusieurs couleurs, ce qui exacerbe la jalousie de ses autres fils. Joseph fait un rêve qui signifie qu’il connaîtra la réussite, contrairement à ses frères. Les frères de Joseph, exaspérés, décident de le jeter dans un puits. Ils vendent finalement Joseph comme esclave et le font passer pour mort auprès de Jacob en lui présentant la tunique de Joseph tâchée de sang (celui d’un animal, en réalité).
Arrivé en Egypte, Joseph se retrouve injustement en prison, où il interprète avec succès les rêves d’autres prisonniers. Ses dons reconnus lui permettent d’approcher le Pharaon, qui est en proie à d’étranges rêves. Joseph lui explique que sept années de plein essor (symbolisées par sept vaches grasses) seront suivies de sept années de famine (représentées par sept vaches maigres). Grâce à ce présage, l’Egypte fait des réserves afin d’éviter la pénurie le moment venu et, en retour, Joseph connaît une belle ascension.
Pendant la période de famine, les frères de Joseph viennent chercher de la nourriture en Egypte. Ils rencontrent Joseph, qui a atteint un rang élevé, sans le reconnaître. Joseph tente de savoir si ses frères ont changé. Il accuse son frère Benjamin d’être un voleur. Tous ses frères prennent sa défense. Conscient que ses frères sont devenus honnêtes, Joseph révèle sa véritable identité et peut retrouver sa famille à Canaan.

Synopsis complet

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. This was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly. (Their first musical, The Likes of Us, written in 1965, was not performed until 2005.)

Joseph was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970 and expanded recordings in 1971 and 1972. While still undergoing various transformations and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973, and in its full format was recorded in 1974 and opened on Broadway in 1982. Several major revivals and a 1999 straight-to-video film, starring Donny Osmond, followed.

The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through. Its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; according to the Really Useful Group, by 2008 more than 20,000 schools and amateur theatre groups had successfully put on productions.

Lloyd Webber's composer father, William, felt the show had the seeds of greatness. He encouraged and arranged for a second performance — at his church, Westminster Central Hall — with a revised and expanded format. The boys of Colet Court sang at this performance in May 1968, which also included the Mixed Bag. It received positive reviews: London's Sunday Times said it was a new pop oratorio. By its third performance at St Paul's Cathedral in November 1968, it had been expanded to 35 minutes and included songs such as "Potiphar".

Novello agreed to publish the work, and Decca Records recorded it in 1969 as a concept album. David Daltrey, front man of British psychedelic band Tales of Justine, played the role of Joseph; and Tim Rice was Pharaoh. Other vocalists included Terry Saunders and Malcolm Parry of the Mixed Bag.

In 1970, Lloyd Webber and Rice used the popularity of their second rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, to promote Joseph, which was advertised in America as a "follow-up" to Superstar. Riding on Jesus' coattails proved profitable for Joseph, as the U.S. Decca recording of Superstar had been in the top of America's charts for three months. The first American production of Joseph was in May 1970, at Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, New York. Following this, according to Lloyd Webber's Really Useful site, "there followed huge interest from colleges and schools."

A recording of the musical, with 12 tracks, was issued in the U.S. on Scepter Records in 1971. It featured David Daltrey as Joseph, Tim Rice as Pharaoh, Andrew Lloyd Webber on the organ, Alan Doggett conducting, various solo vocalists and instrumentalists, and the Colet Court choir as the chorus.

In late August and September 1972, Joseph was presented at the Edinburgh International Festival by the Young Vic Theatre Company, directed by Frank Dunlop. It starred Gary Bond in the title role, Peter Reeves as the narrator, and Gordon Waller as Pharaoh. In October the production played at London's Young Vic Theatre, and in November at the Roundhouse. The production was part of a double bill called Bible One: Two Looks at the Book of Genesis. Part I, entitled The Genesis Mediaeval Mystery Plays: The Creation to Jacob (at the Young Vic originally called simply Mediaeval Mystery Plays), was Dunlop's reworking of the first six of the medieval Wakefield Mystery Plays, with music by Alan Doggett. Part II was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Young Vic production was recorded for an LP released on the RSO label in 1972. This production was also televised in the UK by Granada Television in 1972.

In February 1973, theatre producer Michael White and impresario Robert Stigwood mounted the Young Vic production at the Albery Theatre in the West End, where it ran for 243 performances. The mystery plays which had preceded the original Young Vic productions were dropped, and instead the musical was preceded by a piece called Jacob's Journey, with music and lyrics by Lloyd Webber and Rice and a book by television comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

The new opening piece, Jacob's Journey, which contained a great deal of spoken dialogue, was eventually phased out in favour of a completely sung-through score. The first production of the show in its modern, final form was at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, which presented the musical several times in the mid- to late-1970s.

A recording of the full musical was released on the MCA label in 1974, again featuring Gary Bond, Peter Reeves, and Gordon Waller. This is the earliest recording of Joseph to eventually go to CD. Gordon Waller also appeared on another recording in 1979, featuring Tim Rice as the Narrator and Paul Jones as Joseph, on the Music For Pleasure label.

In 1975 Miranda Enterprises in association with Leicester Theatre Company presented a production of Joseph at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. It was directed by Paul Tomlinson, Choreographed by David Thornton, and Designed by Hugh Durrant, with Chris Littlewood as the Musical Director. This production starred Patrick Ryecart as Joseph, David Sadgrove as Pharaoh, and had three Narrators: Nigel Baldwin, Ben Bazell, and Patrick Reilley.

Ken Hill directed a large-scale production of Joseph at the Westminster Theatre, London, which ran from November 1978 to February 1979, and again from November 1979 to February 1980. This production starred Paul Jones as Joseph, John Golder as the Narrator, and Leonard Whiting as Pharaoh. The producer was Martin Gates, the Musical Director was Jack Forsyth, the Lighting Designer was Francis Reed, and the Designer was Saul Radomsky.

With Jason Donovan in the lead, the expanded show was restaged in 1991 at the London Palladium with Steven Pimlott as director, winning the 1992 Laurence Olivier Award for set design. The cast album of this production was the #1 UK album for two weeks in September 1991, and the single "Any Dream Will Do" from it was also the #1 UK single for two weeks in June–July 1991. When Donovan left, former children's TV presenter Phillip Schofield portrayed Joseph.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Act I
Prologue - Narrator
Any Dream Will Do - Joseph, Children
Jacob and Sons - Narrator, Brothers, Wives, Children, Ensemble
Joseph's Coat - Jacob, Joseph, Narrator, Brothers, Wives, Children, Ensemble
Joseph's Dreams - Narrator, Brothers, Joseph
Poor, Poor Joseph - Narrator, Brothers, Children
One More Angel in Heaven - Reuben, Narrator, Brothers, Wives, Jacob, Children
Potiphar - Children, Narrator, Male Ensemble, Mrs Potiphar, Potiphar, Joseph
Close Every Door - Joseph, Children
Go, Go, Go Joseph - Narrator, Butler, Baker, Ensemble, Joseph, Guru, Children

Act II
Pharaoh's Story - Narrator, Children
Poor, Poor Pharaoh - Narrator, Butler, Pharaoh, Children
Song of the King - Pharaoh, Ensemble
Pharaoh's Dream Explained - Joseph, Ensemble, Children
Stone the Crows - Narrator, Pharaoh, Children, Joseph, Female Ensemble
King of My Heart - Pharaoh
Those Canaan Days - Simeon, Jacob, Brothers
The Brothers Come To Egypt/Grovel, Grovel - Narrator, Brothers, Joseph, Female Ensemble, Children
Who's the Thief? - Joseph, Brothers, Female Ensemble
Benjamin Calypso - Judah, Brothers (but Benjamin), Female Ensemble
Joseph All the Time - Narrator, Joseph, Children
Jacob in Egypt - Narrator, Jacob, Children, Ensemble
Any Dream Will Do (Reprise) - Joseph, Narrator, Ensemble, Jacob, Children
Give Me My Colored Coat - Joseph, Children, Ensemble
Joseph Megamix - Ensemble

Notable in the composition of the music is the variety of styles used by Lloyd Webber, including parodies of French ballads ("Those Canaan Days"), Elvis-inspired rock and roll ("Song of the King"), western ("One More Angel In Heaven"), 1920s Charleston ("Potiphar"), Calypso ("Benjamin Calypso") and disco ("Go, Go, Go Joseph"). Often, productions will make costume and prop changes to reflect each of the various musical styles.

"Prologue" is a late addition to the show, not included in any recordings produced before the 1982 Broadway production; the use of "Any Dream Will Do" at the start of the show (and the renaming of the closing version as per the above list) dates from the 1991 revival.

The UK touring production circa 1983-1987 (produced by Bill Kenwright), included an additional song "I Don't Think I'm Wanted Back At Home", which was originally part of Jacob's Journey.[27] Sung by the title character, the brothers jokingly throw Joseph out of the family home, throwing a number of props at the lone Joseph who is seen in a spotlight – first a suitcase, then a cane and top hat, leaving our hero to tap-dance his way to the end of the number. The tune has been recycled into numbers in By Jeeves and The Likes of Us.

Liste des rôles

Narrator: A woman (in original productions, a man), not of the time or place of the action. The Narrator tells the story through word and song, guiding the audience gently through the story of Joseph and his brothers, usually gives meaning to the story with her/his words.
Jacob: The father of twelve sons, his favorite being Joseph. At times he may appear unfair and shallow, but he is, more importantly, the prophet who recognizes the future and the calling of Joseph, thus saving the House of Israel.
Joseph: Obviously his father’s favorite, Joseph early on shows a talent for interpreting dreams and telling the future. This gets him into trouble with his brothers when he predicts his future will include ruling over the other eleven. However, it saves his life when in Egypt he correctly interprets Pharaoh’s dreams. In the end he has risen to a great position of power, but he still forgives his brothers and brings his family to Egypt to partake of the bounty he has accumulated there.
Three Ladies: These multi-talented women appear in the play as many characters: Jacob’s wives, saloon girls, dancing girls, and so on.
Ishmaelites: Men of the desert, they buy Joseph as a slave, take him to Egypt, and sell him to Potiphar.
Potiphar: A powerful and rich Egyptian, Potiphar purchases Joseph and puts him to work in his household, where he soon realizes that Joseph is honest, hard-working, and a great addition to his pool of help. When he grows suspicious of his wife and Joseph, however, he grows angry and has Joseph thrown into prison.
Mrs. Potiphar: Beautiful and scheming, Mrs. Potiphar tries to seduce Joseph, but is unsuccessful. However, she does manage to rip off much of his clothing just as her husband comes into the room, thus condemning him to prison.
Baker: One of Pharaoh servants, the Baker is in prison with Joseph who correctly interprets his dreams and predicts that he will be put to death.
Butler: Another of Pharaoh servants, the Butler is also in prison with Joseph who also correctly interprets his dreams, this time that he will be released and taken back into Pharaoh's household. It is the Butler who tells Pharaoh about Joseph and his uncanny ability with dreams.
Pharaoh: The most powerful man in Egypt, Pharaoh is considered a god on earth. When Joseph interprets his dreams, he promotes him to one of the highest positions in his government. In most productions, Pharaoh is portrayed as an Elvis Presley-style figure.
Joseph's Eleven Brothers: Although acting usually as a group, they each have their own different personalities, talents, and flaws. As a group they sell Joseph into slavery, but as individuals they deal with the following years and how they can make amends. They sing and dance their way through many situations and places. The performers also double as Egyptians in many cases.
01 Reuben: Eldest son of Jacob; showed kindness to Joseph and was the means of saving his life when his other brothers would have put him to death.
02 Simeon: Second son of Jacob; detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage.
03 Levi: Third son of Jacob, by Leah; he went down with Jacob into Egypt.
04 Judah: Fourth son of Jacob; he pleads with Joseph when Benjamin is falsely arrested for theft of a goblet; one of his descendants was to be the Messiah.
05 Dan: Fifth son of Jacob, by Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid.
06 Naphtali: Sixth son of Jacob, by Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid.
07 Gad: Seventh son of Jacob, by Zilpah, Leah's handmaid.
08 Asher: Eighth son of Jacob, by Zilpah, Leah's handmaid;.
09 Issachar: Ninth son of Jacob.
10 Zebulun: Tenth son of Jacob; he had three sons.
11 Benjamin: Twelfth son of Jacob. Joseph accuses him of stealing the golden cup. After Joseph went missing Benjamin was beloved.

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Principaux CD du musical

1) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Broadway Original Cast) - 1982

2) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Canadian Studio Cast) - 1998

3) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Concept Album) - 1968

4) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (German Original Cast (Essen)) - 1996




5) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Hungarian Original Cast) - 1991

6) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Hungarian Original Cast) - 1992

7) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Italian Original Cast) - 2002

8) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Cast (Palladium)) - 1991




9) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Cast) - 1972

10) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Revival Cast (Single)) - 2007

11) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Revival Cast) - 1980

12) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Studio Cast) - 1973




13) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Studio Cast) - 1979

14) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Studio Cast) - 1993

15) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Studio Cast) - 1996

16) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Los Angeles Revival Cast) - 1993




17) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Swedish Original Cast) - 1995

18) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (TV Cast) - 1999

19) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour Cast) - 1986

20) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour Cast) - 1998




21) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour Cast) - 2004



Liste détaillée des principaux CD