Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:28 pm
Detailed Character Descriptions
After digging through my copy of the score and book, I thought it would be useful to put these up. As a guide with notes, C4 is middle C with C5 being tenor C.
Jesus/Stephen-Must be the most charismatic individual in the cast. High energy, charming, funny, gentle but with strength. He is the sort of person others instinctively follow. Vocal range: Tenor (G# 4-D3) Solos in: “God Save the People”, “All for the Best”, “Turn Back, O Man”, “Alas for You” and “Finale”.
Judas/John the Baptist/David- He has attributes of both Biblical figures: he is both Jesus' lieutenant and most ardent disciple and the doubter who begins to question and rebel. Like Jesus, he is also charismatic, but in more of an overt revolutionary way. Usually played by someone handsome and masculine, with an undertone of sexuality. He is the most "serious" and intellectual of the group, though as with all the actors, he must still possess a good sense of physical comedy. Vocal range: Baritone (E4-G2) Solos in: “Prepare Ye” and “All for the Best”.
Robin- A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet. She is the first of the group to commit to following Jesus. Vocal range: Contralto (E5-G3) In the original show she doubled as Nietzsche. Solos in: “Day by Day” and “Light of the World (4)”.
Gilmer- The female equivalent of the class clown. Goofy and a bit of a cut-up. Vocal range: Mezzo-soprano (E5-G3, Her low G is hit briefly in ‘Learn Your Lessons Well’ and does not need to be strong) In the original show she doubled as Socrates. Solos in: “Learn Your Lessons Well” and “By My Side (Harmony)”.
Joanne- The confident one, the show-off. The first one to volunteer, sometimes jumps in before she really understands what's going on. Vocal range: Soprano (A5-B3, she traditionally hits a high C during “We Beseech Thee” in the “Boom chick” section [Violin]) Doubled as Luther in the original production. Solos in: “O Bless the Lord”.
Lamar- Not the brightest in the bunch, he is a little slow on the uptake. But there is a great sweetness and innocence about him. Vocal range: Tenor (A4-D3 (G2), his low G is found in his reprise of “Learn Your Lessons Well” which doesn’t have to strong and can get away with being spoken) Doubled as DaVinci in the original production. Solos in: “All Good Gifts” and “Learn Your Lessons Well (reprise)”.
Herb- The comedian, the class clown. The guy who can do a hundred voices and imitations. Vocal range: Baritone (E4-G2) In the original production doubled up with Buckminster Fuller. Solos in: “Light of the World (1)”
Peggy- The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. Has an "earth mother" kind of warmth to her. Vocal range: Mezzo-soprano (E5-C4) Doubled as Sartre in the original production. Has solos in: “Light of the World (2)” and “By My Side (lead)”.
Jeffery- Very high energy. Impish and playful. In the original production played several instruments such as concertina, recorder and guitar. Vocal range: Tenor (G#4-C3, hits a D5 in falsetto during “We Beseech Thee”) Doubled as Aquinas in the original production. Solos in: “Light of the World (3)” and “We Beseech Thee”.
Sonia- Sassy and slightly cynical, the most urban of the group. Also the "sexy" one, but her sexiness contains a large element of put-on, in the manner of Mae West or Madonna (who in fact once played this role). Vocal range: Contralto (E5-D3, her D3 is hit twice briefly during ‘Turn Back, O Man’) Doubled as Gibbon in the original production. Solos in: “Turn Back, O Man”.
The Band- The band has a couple of lines and one number in which they sing. Lead soloist: E4-C#3, 1st Harmony: A4-E3, 2nd Harmony: D4-C#3. These can be moved up the octave for female singers. Solos in: “On the Willows”
Socrates-Ancient Greek philosopher of great prominence, because of his views was forced to drink hemlock. Solo range: B4-D#4, can be dropped down the octave for a male. First solo in “Tower of Babbel”.
Thomas Aquinas-Great German Theologian who basically created many of the rules and concepts of the Catholic Church. Solo range: B3-B2, can be moved up the octave for a female. Second solo in “Tower of Babbel”.
Martin Luther-German priest who founded the Protestant movement against the church. Solo range: F#5-E4, can be moved down the octave for a male. Third solo in “Tower of Babbel”.
Leonardo Da Vinci-Great Italian artist and inventor, best example of a true ‘Renaissance man’. Solo range: A#3-G#2, can be sung up the octave for a female. Fourth solo in “Tower of Babbel” (duet).
Edward Gibbon-English historian whose work on the Roman Empire was extensively celebrated. Solo range: G#4-G#3, can be sung down the octave for a male. Fifth solo in “Tower of Babbel” (duet).
Friedrich Nietzsche-Great German philosopher famous for his work regarding Nihilism. Solo range: E4-G#3, can be sung down the octave for a male. Sixth solo in “Tower of Babbel”.
Jean-Paul Sartre-French philosopher and writer famous for his views on Atheism. Solo range: G#4-B3, can be sung down the octave for a male singer. Seventh solo in “Tower of Babbel”
Richard Buckminster Fuller-American engineer, writer and futurist whose greatest invention was a form of self sustaining dome. Solo range: E4-B3, can be sung up the octave for a female singer. Eighth solo in “Tower of Babbel”.
Note about ranges: There are places in the score where no harmony is marked and characters would be required to sing out of their written range. In “All Good Gifts” all singers are asked to hit a high F, down to a low G in “Turn Back, O Man” and in the finale a high G# which also has an optional high C#. This is up to the discretion of the Music Director on how to handle this.
Note on “Tower of Babbel” ranges: All singers in the Prologue should also be able to sing the notes B-B for the chorus and some should be able to hit a high A# and the E and C natural below that.