Rodgers And Hammerstein: Changin Musical Theater History Essay, Research Paper

There are many well-known lyrists and composers, but merely a few leave such a grade as Rodgers and Hammerstein. This couple produced nine musical dramas during their partnership and caused a profound alteration in musical comedy. They set the criterions that are followed to this twenty-four hours in musical history. They created the modern musical that we all know and love.

Before they became Rodgers and Hammerstein, they were merely Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, both of New York City. Hammerstein, born in 1895, was brought up in a theatrical household. His male parent was an? operatic showman? , otherwise known as an opera manager or director. He built the Harlem Opera House ( 1888 ) and the Manhattan Opera House ( 1906 ) and besides introduced many new vocalists to the US. From a really immature age Hammerstein II committed to the theatre even though his household discouraged him. Equally shortly as he was old plenty to hold a occupation in his male parent? s theatrical concern, he devoted himself to his responsibilities and learned every bit much as he could approximately play production and the labours of the theatre creative person. Oscar finally teamed up with writer Otto Harbach and composer Vincent Youmans to bring forth Wildflower. With aid from Harbach, Hammerstein began to make professional stuff for Broadway. Through Otto Harbach, Hammerstein was led into coaction with Jerome Kern for Sunday. He besides worked with Herbert Stothart and George Gershwin on Song of the Flame, a really unsuccessful show. But despite the shows failure, it did take Hammerstein to concentrate on making light opera in order to incorporate musical comedy with opera. With this in head, he was able to accomplish new criterions for success in his calling with his wordss for The Wild Rose and The Desert Song.

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By 1927, after a few more productions, Hammerstein had achieved the proficient accomplishment that allowed him to supply a composer with a functional book and wordss. This was best shown in Showboat, the first modern American musical. Showboat was the first show that indicated Hammerstein? s great endowment. Hammerstein was able to make a credible secret plan, state of affairs, and word picture. At the head of this show was Hammerstein? s concern for the southern inkinesss. This show contributed commentary on racial bias which Hammerstein would continually make. This was a large measure for the 1920s and a immense triumph when the show was so widely appreciated.

Despite the promise indicated by Showboat, Hammerstein did non bring forth plants of comparable success between 1928 and 1940. Some of his forgotten shows from that clip are Free for All, Three Sisters, May Wine and several others. By 1941 it was evident that except for Showboat, Hammerstein had non succeeded in making a famed organic structure of work outside the operetta signifier.

Richard Rodgers, born in 1902, unlike Hammerstein, was non born into the theatre, but his parents made sure he was cultured in the universe of musical theatre at a really early age. One of his earliest childhood memories was of his parents singing the full vocal tonss from the latest musicals1. By age six, Rodgers had taught himself to play piano and was so given piano lessons by his proud parents. They besides encouraged him to do a calling in music. Like Hammerstein, Rodgers? devotedness to the theatre began early on in his life. Rodgers was particularly influenced by Jerome Kern? s shows and considered him a hero.

When Rodgers was nine, he began to compose tunes of his ain and finally learned how to compose them excessively. At 14 he produced his first two complete vocals, ? Campfire Days? and? The Auto Show Girl? . While still in high school, he wrote tonss for two amateur shows, One Minute Please and Up State and Down, after which he was encouraged to happen a lyrist and get down a professional song-producing agreement. Rodgers found Lorenz Hart.

They met in 1918 and instantly hit it off. Both were really pleased with each others abilities and a originative brotherhood was made, every bit good as a close friendly relationship. Their first show together was Fly with Me, which was performed for Columbia University. Broadway adult male

Lew Fields saw the show and informed the couple that he intended to utilize some of their vocals in his following Broadway musical, Poor Little Ritz Girl2. Although merely seven of the Numberss were used, it brought Rodgers into the universe of Broadway musicals.

Rodgers and Hart collaborated from 1918 to 1943 and produced 27 phase musicals and eight gesture image scores. Almost all their work was successful and their chemical science as a originative squad was paying off. In the late 1930s though, Hart and Rodgers grew apart because of emotional jobs Hart was holding. Eventually Hart walked out on Rodgers and died in 1943.

Rodgers and Hammerstein eventually met in the early fortiess. Their first show was Oklahoma! which debut a success and began the series of smash hits for Rodgers and Hammerstein. Their other shows were Carousel ( 1945 ) , Allegro ( 1947 ) , South Pacific ( 1949 ) , The King and I ( 1951 ) , Me and Juliet ( 1953 ) , Pipe Dream ( 1955 ) , Flower Drum Song ( 1958 ) , and The Sound of Music ( 1959 ) . They besides did the movie, State Fair ( 1945 ) , and the telecasting musical, Cinderella ( 1957 ) .

The chief ground Rodgers and Hammerstein were so successful and made such an impact on musical theatre was that? & # 8230 ; they formulated and demonstrated rules about their trade that elevated the popular musical phase from amusement to art & # 8230 ; ? 3. In other words, they raised the criterions and outlooks of the musical to more than merely amusement for the audience to bask, and made being a musical theatre histrion a accomplishment and an art. The rules they created were as follows. First, they both agreed that the vocal served the drama instead than vice-versa. This construct is what helps do a musical more credible. Second, Rodgers and Hammerstein shows were really sincere and honest. Both Rodgers and Hammerstein were romantics and saw nil incorrect with sugariness and simpleness. Joseph Fields, a confederate on Flower Drum Song, said that? Oscar truly believed that love conquers all, that virtuousness victory, that dreams come true. ? 4. Rodgers felt likewise. ? Whats incorrect with sugariness and visible radiation? Its been around for rather awhile. Even a platitude you know has a right to be true? 5 This construct keeps people traveling back to see musicals, because no affair how tragic things are you can ever happen a beam of hope in a musical. For illustration, in The Sound of Music, the state is about to come in war, people are being arrested and there is calamity everyplace, but the VanTrappes flight, which occurs to demo that there is hope.

Finally, Rodgers and Hammerstein were certain to keep a professional brotherhood between all members of a production squad: manufacturer, author, composer, manager, choreographer, histrion, scenery etc. They proved that a takes squad work to bring forth a show and that means coaction from all sides at all times of a production. Hammerstein and Rodgers set the cast for the? sensitive relationship? between any group of confederates through the manner they worked together.

Rodgers and Hammerstein revolutionized musical theatre. They forged new degrees of public presentation and besides of production, that are now the criterions for musicals in America. Their success is rooted in their devotedness to the theatre, their ability to pull audiences in to their shows by doing their shows credible yet sentimental and their ability to join forces so good together. This is why their shows are still being performed in theatres all over the universe. They are true bow male parents in American musical theatre.

1 ) The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 3rd erectile dysfunction. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

2 ) Fordin, Hugh. Geting to cognize him: A Biography of Oscar Hammerstein II. New York: Ungar Pub. Co. , 1977.

3 ) Green, Stanley. Rodgers and Hammerstein Fact Book: a record of their plants together and with other confederates. New York: Lynn Farnol Group, 1980

4 ) Hyland, William. Richard Rodgers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998

5 ) Kislan, Richard. The Musical. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. , 1980.

6 ) Nolan, Frederick N. The Sound of their Music: the narrative of Rodgers and Hammerstein. New York: Walker, 1978

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