NEAL MORSE To Release Progressive Rock Opera In 2019; Multiple Guest Stars To Appear On Double Album; Demos Streaming
September 7, 2018, 13 days ago
Frontiers Music Srl has announced the signing of a monumental project entitled Jesus Christ - The Exorcist, a progressive rock opera written and produced by legendary musician and singer Neal Morse with performances by Neal and an all-star cast of singers and musicians.
Neal explains, "Sometimes providence comes with a whisper; sometimes it comes with an unexpected phone call. A friend of mine who works in the music business called me from New York one day in 2008 and said, "Hey man, a friend and I were listening to Jesus Christ Superstar last night and were saying, 'Man, somebody ought to do a new rock opera based on the Jesus story'. I told my friend, 'I know the guy!' He went on to tell me I ought to write an epic prog piece based on the gospels. With a New York accent he said, 'Ya gotta do it!' I laughed and said, 'Well, I'm busy right now, but I'll think about it.' Over the next couple of months, I began to feel that "yes" inside and spent a few months writing the first draft. The strong sense that I was onto something continued to grow and the people that sang on the original version were really into it. However, my friend from New York, (Michael Caplan) shopped it around and a lot of people loved it, but it never found a home....until NOW! Again, the phone rang and it was Michael. He said, 'You're not gonna believe this, but I've got a company interested in the musical!' I replied, 'That's great, 'cause I am in the middle of a rewrite as we are putting it on at Morsefest 2018 in a few months.' Very timely! The company is called Frontiers Music Srl and after some communication, we struck a deal! Cool! So, here we are...ready to record and release this collection of songs and themes that is very dear to my heart and I believe tells the greatest story ever told in a powerful, new way."
With a cast of amazing singers and musicians like Ted Leonard, Eric Gillette, Nick D'Virgilio, Randy George, Bill Hubauer, Matt Smith, and others, this progressive rock opera is a landmark event that will leave its mark on every listener. "Let him who has ears to hear...let him hear!"
With recordings set to commence imminently, the record will be released in 2019 on a double album set featuring about two hours of music that will encompass all the spectrums and genres Neal Morse is known for and will, of course, tell the Story of Stories. In the meantime, you can hear an audio sample of demos of the musical below:
Additionally, the project will be performed live for the very first time on Saturday, September 15th at Morsefest 2018 in Cross Plains, TN. Jesus Christ - The Exorcist, the world premiere of a musical written by Neal Morse will be performed by a prog-rock all-star cast featuring Neal Morse (keys, guitar), Paul Bielatowicz (lead guitar), Bill Hubauer (keys), Randy George (bass), and Eric Gillette (drums). Featured vocalists will include Ted Leonard (Spock's Beard, Enchant), Nick D'Virgilio (Big, Big Train, Spock's Beard), Jake Livgren (Protokaw), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Wil Morse and more. Also, John Schlitt (Petra) and Rick Florian (White Heart) have been added to the performance as well.
Ted Leonard - Jesus
Talon David - Mary Magdalene
Nick D'Virgilio - Judas
Rick Florian - The Devil
John Schlitt - Caiaphas
Matt Smith - John the Baptist, Pharisee 3
Jake Livgren - Peter, Pharisee 4
Neal Morse - Pilate, Demon 1, Disciple 1
Mark Pogue - Israelite 1, the Madman of the Gadarenes, Pharisee 2
Wil Morse - Israelite 2, Demon 3, Pharisee 1,
Gabe Klein - Demon 2, Pharisee 4
Gideon Klein - Demon 4
Julie Harrison - Servant Girl
Plus strings, horns, orchestral percussion, vocal ensemble, and choir!
Visuals by Christian Rios.
More info and ticket information for Morsefest 2018 is available here.