ROCK OPERA INTRODUCTORY PACKET

The Introductory Packets for people wishing to explore putting on the Luther Rock Opera this fall will be send out within the next two weeks to all interested. If you've registered on the front page of www.lutherstudy.com you'll be getting a personal email early in the week to see if you'd like a copy. Be watching (and check your SPAM filters). If nothing comes by Wednesday, contact us directly: info@faithink.com and we'll make sure you are on the list.  

(2) Rich Melheim - Peter Eide (The voice of Martin Luther) says...Sta

The Introductory Packets for people wishing to explore putting on the Luther Rock Opera this fall will be send out next week to all interested. If you've registered on the front page of www.lutherstudy.com you'll be getting a personal email early in the week to see if you'd like a copy. Be watching (and check your SPAM filters). If nothing comes by Wednesday, contact us directly: info@faithink.com and we'll make sure you are on the list.  

Sneak Peek: Luther 2017 — Luther

Where and when and how did the Luther Rock Opera begin?

It started with a comic book written for a guerrilla marketing campaign for the Luther Movie. (Joseph Fiennes, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina, etc.)

It was resurrected when George and Michael announced their retirement from Lost and Found and Rich Melheim said, "This is simul eustis et disaster." And then it got invited to Comic-Con. And then it sold German, Portuguese, Dutch and Danish rights. And then....
Hey, watch the video link! https://youtu.be/oqCLqChZWOY
 

 

Care to be Part of the World Debut of the Rock Opera in Wittenberg?

Join Rich, Michael, George in Wittenberg June 19-25 and be part of the first cast for the Luther Rock Opera! http://luther500festival.com

Sign up for this historic event and you’ll not only enjoy the festivities Michael and George have set up, but you'll take part in daily sessions with Rich on the nuts and bolts of staging the performance. You'll literally :

* Learn how to attract a top team (Director, Stage Manager, Musicians, Dancers, Marketing Team)
* Discover how the issues of Luther's day and the issues of today collide when brave young people speak truth to power
* Build the first set with Jonathan Koelsch (our graphic novel artist and set designer)
* Conspire together on how to raise significant funds through the performance to support local food shelves, international relief and refugee resettlement projects
*Explore the building of Cross+Gen relationships that can strengthen your community for years to come (there's nothing quite like theater to bond people!)
* And, yes, you'll be on stage June 25 at 9:30 AM for in the world premier of Luther the Rock Opera.

Space is limited for Dr. Rich's private class/coaching on how to tell this world class story in a world class way.  The first 30 who sign up will have a spot. For more information,visit http://luther500festival.com  or contact info@faithink.com

SONG COMPETITION AT HIGH SCHOOL OF RECORDING ARTS

We had a wonderful day yesterday with Tony Simmons and the core leaders at www.hsra.org in St. Paul. We're collaborating with them and their students to add some youth, life and fun to the Luther Rock Opera by turning the creation of some of the songs into a song-writing competition. George Baum is flying in from Cleveland on Monday to outline the songs that will be in the contest. I'll explain the historical context from the Graphic Novel. The young people will have one week to come up with a concept piece and rough recording for the songs. They'll post them, and Michael Bridges and George Baum will choose the ones they like best for polishing and recording. It will be a blast working with them,  and I'm thinking it will make the Rock Opera even better and more relevant. 

We had a wonderful day yesterday with Tony Simmons and the core leaders at www.hsra.org in St. Paul. We're collaborating with them and their students to add some youth, life and fun to the Luther Rock Opera by turning the creation of some of the songs into a song-writing competition. George Baum is flying in from Cleveland on Monday to outline the songs that will be in the contest. I'll explain the historical context from the Graphic Novel. The young people will have one week to come up with a concept piece and rough recording for the songs. They'll post them, and Michael Bridges and George Baum will choose the ones they like best for polishing and recording. It will be a blast working with them,  and I'm thinking it will make the Rock Opera even better and more relevant. 

(3) ELCA Clergy

We're pretty pumped for our friends at the High School of the Recording Arts this week. They're helping us with the Luther Rock Opera, and this week will travel to LA to the NAACP "Image Awards" with their song "Royalty", which they did with the Grammy Winning "Sounds of Blackness." https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=0b3Z_ewfnnE They have a shot at winning... but the other 3 nominees are Bruno Mars, Beyonce and Alisha Keys. So, what are the odds that a bunch of homeless Twin Cities kids (70% don't have an address) can beat the likes of those heavy hitters? Listen and you tell me!

 

Good luck HSRA!

Getting Ready To Rock the Rock Opera

Getting together with the amazing Todd Ernster (MN Music Hall of Famer) today and Tony Simmons (CEO of www.hsra.org) today to start the process of turning Michael Bridges and George Baum's music and lyrics for the 25 songs in the Luther Rock Opera into the three-piece offering we'll get to churches/colleges/community theaters who want to do it next fall. There will be a minus mix (instruments only), a minus+background mix (with some rather amazing vocalists... for those who don't have a big band and choir but want to sound like broadway) and the full mix (with instruments, background and solos). Todd has engineered 500+ songs for us over the years at Faith Incubators and the new RICH Learning preschool curriculum. Tony is on our RICH Learning board, and leads the school in St. Paul that one of Prince's band members started for street kids to get their high school diplomas and a trade. 

I'll be with Tony and Michael in LA next week. Tony's school, with 60% homeless teens and 100% graduation rates, is up for the African Ameriican Image award for a project they did last year with the Grammy winning Sounds of Blackness.

If you'd like to support them to bring some of their kids to the awards, here's the link.

And after they win that, LUTHER THE ROCK OPERA!!!

It Was An Age (First draft of first song)

It Was An Age (First draft of first song)

It was the age of turmoil
lust and power 

It was the age of turmoil
lust and power                           

The black plague was encroaching

Süleyman was poaching

Holy cities one by one

Rome fought to defend Christendom

It was an age to fear, submit
and cower

Thrones were bought by
pope and king

Human rights were not a thing

The stake - the price of all dissent

Flesh aflame and body rent

To question was to die,

So no one dared to try

It was the age of turmoil
lust and power

The Church controlled the daily life,

Salvation called for sacrifice

There were relics to be venerated

From purgatory to be separated

Commonerswere urged

to pay money to be purged

It was an age when seeds
might come to flower

For buried in the darkness long

The yearnings of the
people strong

The stage was set for Renaissance

Sure, the kings might say
“bon Chance,”

 

But the winds behind the storm

Were blowing toward reform

It was the age of turmoil
lust and power 

It was the age of turmoil
lust and power    

 

Progress on Luther: The Rock Opera

We're working on for our Wikipedia presence. Comments welcome before we send it in.

Luther: The Rock Opera

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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This article is about the musical production. For the 2017 graphic novel, curriculum, giant “Table Talk” Coloring pages and other related resources, see www.lutherstudy.com. For the rock opera album, see Luther: The Rock Opera (album).

 

Luther

 

Album cover for the 2017 American
release of Luther

 

Written by

Rich Melheim

Music

Michael Bridges & George Baum

 

Productions

            2017 Concept album

            2017 Off Broadway?

            2017 Bollywood?

            2017 Seoul?

            2020 Broadway? 

 

Luther, a 2017 rock opera written and produced by Rich Melheim, Michael Bridges and George Baum. Art and Staging by Jonathan Koelsch and Sherwin Schwartzrock. The musical started as a comic book and a series of study guides written to publicize the feature film Luther in 2003 (Joseph Fiennes, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina, Claire Cox, Jonathn Firth.) The project was resurrected in Graphic Novel and Rock Opera to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in October 2017. The musical is sung-through, with no spoken dialogue. 

 

The story is carefully based on the life and times of Martin Luther, a Catholic Monk who protested against what he considered corruption and un-Biblical practices of the Roman Catholic Church of his day. Luther’s initial objection to the church was the selling of “Indulgences” - certificates guaranteeing forgiveness of sins and escape from purgatory. On October 31, 1517, the protesting monk-turned-professor nailed 95 Thesis addressing abuses of the church onto the Wittenberg University Church Door - the community bulletin board of it’s day. What was intended as a scholarly debate quickly turned into an international political fire-storm. Within days, students grabbed the works and translated them into a dozen languages. Thanks to Gutenberg’s printing press and the new pan-European postal service put in place year earlier, within months 18,000 copies of the seditious writings were lighting fires of protest across the Holy Roman Empire. Luther was summoned to Rome to answer for his heresy, but thanks to his protector, Elector Fredrick the Wise, the trail was held in Germany. When Luther was condemned as a heretic, Frederick arranged his kidnapping and hiding in Wartburg Castle. Sought as an outlaw but bored to despair in his exile, Luther translated the Bible into German, wrote letters fanning the flames of Reformation across the Empire, and finally returned to stop a Peasant’s uprising and guide the reforms.

The unlikely anti-hero of this story is the most Catholic of kings, Charles V. Crowned at 19 and presiding over Luther’s trial at 21 during the Diet (Council) of Worms, Charles first condemned the monk as an outlaw and a heretic, then spent the next 35 years trying to control, cajole, bribe and threaten the German princes, peasants and throngs of protesting (Protestant) priests to hold the Empire together. With Henry VIII of England threatening succession, King Francis I of France conspiring with Pope Clement VII and the Muslim Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to whittle away at his empire
Charles V lived in a constant battle between his loyalty to his beloved Catholic church, his contempt for Pope Clement VII (whom he later imprisoned when his soldiers sacked Rome, and his practical political/military needs to keep Sulyman from capturing Vienna and invading all of Europe. 

 

The work's depiction offers a free interpretation of the psychology of the troubled monk, two troubled kings (Charles V and Henry VIII), two troubled popes (Leo X and Clement VII), and the princes, professors, monks and pawns who played major roles in ushering in the end of the Medieval Era and the birth of the Modern Era. As with “Jesus Christ Superstar” and the recent hit “Hamilton”, contemporary attitudes and sensibilities blend with historical records and writings to pervade the lyrics. Ironic allusions to modern life are scattered throughout the depiction of political events. To date, the Graphic Novel, stage play, and study resources are being translated into German, Dutch, French and Portuguese. Other languages are pending and a future film is on the drawing boards.

Contents  [hide

1. Plot

            1.1 Act I

            1.2 Act II

            1.3 Act III

2. Principal roles

3. Musical Numbers

4. From graphic novel to stage

            4.1 Graphic Novel

            4.2 Stage Design

            4.3 Musical Album

5. Recordings and broadcasts

6. Films

7. Awards and nominations

8. Further reading

9. Refernces

10. External Links

 

1. Plot[edit]

            1.1 Act I

            1.2 Act II

            1.3 Act III

  

2. Principal roles[edit]

CharacterVoice type

Description

Martin Luther

tenor (A2–G5?)

Title role, tormented monk-turned-reformer, seen as heretic by some and a hero by the bulk of the German nation

Katie von Bora

mezzo-soprano (F3–E5)

Narrator, nun who escapes her convent. When Luther arranges her marriage to a colleague and the man weds  another, Katie proposes to him.

Abbot

baritenor (A2–B4)

Head of the most disciplined, harsh Augustinian monastery in  all Germany

Staupitz

baritenor (A2–B4)

Luther’s mentor as a monk, priest, professor and reformer

Fredrick the Wise

bass (C2–F4)

Elector of Germany who helps put Charles V in power, then fights him and the Pope to protect Luther’s life

Leo X

countertenor (G2–D5)

Pope who issues the St. Peter’s Indulgence that prompts Luther’s protest. Leo wants Luther to comply or die.

Tetzel

baritone (A2–G4)

The slickest salesman in the indulgence trade.

Ulrich von Hutton

baritenor (A2–B4)baritenor 

Poet knight philosopher who sees Luther asn an opportunity to start a war for German independence on the spot

Wolfgang

tenor (C3–G4)

Peasant who embraces Luther’s revolution as a means to bring freedom to the peasants. 

Charles V

tenor (C3–G4)

Ruler of both Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. He needs peace and compliance to hold the Empire together and fight off the Ottoman Turk expansion across Europe.

Aleandro

tenor (C3–G4)

Prosecuting attorney at Luther's Trial. Sees Luther as a demon.

Clement VII

bass (C2–F4)

Illegitimate cousin of Pope Leo who bribes his way onto the Vatican throne, then conspires with King Francis (France) and Sultan Sulyman (Turkey) to carve out chunks of Europe from Charles V's empire.

Hans Luder

tenor (C3–G4)

Stern, harsh, judgmental copper-mining father of Martin Luther

Margarethe Luder

bass (C2–F4)

Luther’s broken-hearted mother

 

 

Musical numbers[edit]

Act One

   "Overture" – Orchestra

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   ""xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

 

Act Two

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   ""xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

    

Act Three

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   ""xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

   "xxxtitlexxx" – xxxList of Singersxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luther: The Rock Opera

Home - Dropbox

PART I: PRESS RELEASE  - Short Version

(September, 2016)

 

500th Anniversary Luther Graphic Novel and Rock Opera Gather Steam

 

It is arguably one of the most pivotal events in the last 1000 years of human history - the event that ended the Medieval Era and ushered in the Modern Era.

 

It’s Teutonic and tectonic. It’s 13 years in the making. It will have historians, human rights experts and educators on five continents debating its significance next year.

 

It unveiled on the back cover of Publisher’s Weekly and on stage at Comic-Con in San Diego this summer. And beginning this month a hand-full of nationally award-winning authors, musicians, designers, and artists are launching a Marvel-style graphic novel, then tearing the story from pages and adapting it for theater stages in time for 900 million Protestants worldwide to celebrate their 500th Anniversary on October 31, 2017.

It’s Luther the Graphic Novel, and the new rock opera Luther the Rock Opera. (
www.lutherstudy.com).

 

HISTORY AND HEADLINES

Like the current Broadway smash Hamilton, both the graphic novel and Luther the Musical deal with meticulously researched history AND issues at the forefront of headlines and people’s minds today:

 

·      The powerful (church and state) abusing power

·      Brave young people putting their lives on the line for freedom

·      Rich people buying political office

·      A looming Muslim advance across Turkey into Europe

 

“These issues are as relevant today as they were then,” says writer and executive producer Dr. Rich Melheim. “All of these events came together in one place and time 500 years ago.  Some would say the Medieval Era ended and the Modern Era began when that one solitary monk put his life on the line and uttered his historic words: “Here I stand.”

The most popular Lutheran musicians since Bach and Beethoven are writing the music. Lost and Found, who put in 5,000,000 miles over the last 25 years singing in Lutheran circles, are pounding the graphic novel into verse in their “Speedwood” musical style with humor, energy and emotion.

 

TECTONIC AND TEUTONIC

The story stars Martin Luther, a bold, troubled, brilliant and complicated flawed hero. “Hollywood loves a flawed hero,” says Melheim, author of 6 stage plays, 25 books and producer of 24 music albums. “Our dear Dr. Luther is simultaneously brilliant, bold and flawed, flawed, flawed. But once you get to know his demons, his struggles, his story and its profound impact on human rights and history, you can’t help but marvel at the guy… if not love him.

“Oh. And unlike the Puritans and Calvinists his movement helped spawn, he really loved his beer.”

 

Melheim, who holds a BA in journalism, an MDIV in theology and a doctorate in semiotics and the future, believes the bulk of world’s historians don’t even understand the repercussions of Luther’s bold stance and the confluence of world-shaping events that it precipitated.

 

“Everything from the defeat of the Spanish Armada, to the Pilgrims voyage to Plymouth Rock, to the settling of Jamestown Colony, to the writing of the Bill of Rights, to the founding of a Puritan Seminary called Harvard in 1636, to the end of slavery in England, to Lincoln’s stubborn determination to win the Civil War and free the slaves - -  heck, even Gandhi’s ability to sway the conscience of the British Parliament and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s movement - - all of these were seeded and preceded by an event that took place on October 31, 1517 when Luther ‘nailed it’ (Google 95 Theses),” says Melheim. “Without Luther’s death defying stand for an individual’s conscience, there would be no nation states in Europe as we know them today. No original 13 Colonies in North America. No British Empire. No Harvard. No Yale. No Princeton. No Louisiana Purchase. No Lewis and Clark. Maybe not even schools teaching slaves and girls to read.  As an educational innovator, Dr. Luther supported schools where both boys and girls could learn to read the Bible. Centuries later on it was Lutherans and other early Protestants who broke the laws and taught slaves to read. Where do you think Martin Luther King, Sr. got his name? From Aristotle on it was assumed slaves and women had no souls, so teaching them to read was a waste of time.

 

“I once dated a girl without a soul,” says Melheim, who has done standup comedy on and off in 1000 churches over the last 30 years. “But that’s a matter for another day and another play.”

 

The graphic novel has sold German, French, Portuguese and Dutch rights thus far, with multiple other languages under negotiation. The rock opera will be released on Easter Sunday, 2017, giving churches, colleges and community theater troupes six months to prepare it for the October 31st 500th anniversary of Luther “nailing it.”

For more information, interviews or samples, visit
www.lutherstudy.com.

 

-       30 - (End of Shorter Release)

Junker Joerg

Regarding the panel above, if it doesn't look like the Martin Luther you know, here's the actual woodcut of him from 1521.

After the trial (Diet) in Worms, Luther was condemned as an outlaw. To keep him safe and out of sight, his protector, Elector Frederick, had him kidnapped away to the spooky old Warburg Castle. There he grew his hair and beard out, and disguised himself as a knight. Frustrated and bored, Luther took on the task of translating the Bible from Greek to German... in 11 weeks. 

With Luther out of the picture, the Reformation took on a life of its own. Churches began to give both bread and wine to non-clergy. Preaching took on a new fresh life. Worship music evolved from the Gregorian chants to hymns with instruments. Priests began to marry. Lots of positives and lots of creativity and freedom. 

Then the freedom took an ugly turn. Peasants revolted against Masters, stained glass windows and statues were destroyed. Castles and churches burned. Tens of thousands died. Luther finally came out of hiding to help put down the rebellion. 

Birth is painful and often bloody. Freedom has two sides. It broke Luther's heart.

Luther at Comic-Con

Yup. We've just been invited to San Diego July 24 to join a panel of 5 or 6 unique producers, show what we've got in the Luther Graphic Novel, tell about our Musical (that follows the script and uses the art), and talk about the 500th Anniversary 900M Protestants will be celebrating in 2017.

They liked the style, the story, the graphics, the musical and the plans. They told us they'd never seen anything like it in a comic book.

Here’s the official site if you’re as geeky as me.

http://comic-con.org

We’re flying high.