The intersection between rock and classical music has proved fertile ground for Broadway, as seen in musicals like âThe Phantom of the Operaâ and âRent.â But never will the crossover be so literal as when âRocktopiaâ arrives on Broadway in March. The show, created by Rob Evan, will fuse â80s rock songs with classical arias and concertos at the Broadway Theater from March 20 to April 29.
Mr. Evan is a Broadway veteran who appeared in âLes Miserablesâ and âJekyll & Hydeâ and also sings with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a band that often toggles between classical and rock. Mr. Evan and other lead singers will be backed by a rock band, a choir and a 20-piece orchestra conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer. The show is broken into movements centered on themes like love, angst and rebellion, so Pucciniâs romantic âMusettaâs Waltzâ will be melded with the Beatlesâ âSomethingâ; Rachmaninoffâs yearning Piano Concerto No. 2 will turn into Heartâs âAloneâ; and Stravinskyâs âRite of Springâ will wail and rage next to Jimi Hendrixâs âPurple Haze.â
The idea was born out of Mr. Evanâs performances at various pops concerts, where he would mix sections of Beethovenâs Symphony No. 9 with Journeyâs âDonât Stop Believinâ.â âWe thought, âThis is crazy,â and the audience would flip out,â Mr. Evan said in an interview. An inaugural performance of the show, âRocktopia: Live in Budapest,â was recorded at the Hungarian State Opera House last year and aired on PBS.
âWeâre not dumbing down that music,â Mr. Evan said of his classical selections….