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Stage adaptations of “Castafiore Emerald” and “Prisoners of the Sun”?

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#11 · Posted: 10 Oct 2004 16:32 · Edited by: Pelaphus
Sorry it seems like a high horse, Jock. Not intended that way and sure don't feel as if I'm riding one.

As for my writing style, at least as concerns stage stuff, I've been a dramatist, musical theatre teacher and critic for three decades (I have a book about writing musicals coming out this Spring, in fact) and sometimes that just carries over into even casual correspondence. But it's borne of enthusiasm more than any desire to be pedantic. I love the minutiae; my subtext is never "Now look here." It's "Hot damn, check THIS out!"

As to my misinterpreting a key phrase in one of your previous posts, humble apologies. Yours opened with "Did a bit of digging, and found a bit of info on Tintin.com mentioning a production in Louvain earlier this year!" It was separated from the context of your prior post, so I just assumed, since the thread was musicals, that you were referring to THE musical, rather than Tintin on stage in general. I might've checked out the Tintin.com story you cited first, and next time I'll do all the "background work" first.

Truth is, I've lurked around a few other fan forums here and there, and I have been very enthusiastic, too, at the comparatively high level of articulate, informed correspondence at Tintinologist.org, and I really like the gang. So you won't find me brow-beating here. I'm proud to be among your number.

Back to Tintinology (just so we don't veer too far off thread), my interest in knowing more about the musical (once I found out about it) is what brought me back to the books (only a few of which I read as a kid), and brought me to collecting the VCD and DVD sets (referred to elsewhere), plus the Peeters and Farr reference works, etc. etc. ... so in a very real sense, the whole Tintinverse is very new to me, even though I'd been casually and affectionately aware of it for decades. So even GENERAL Tintinology has a kind of "new car" sheen to it, and I'm just groovin'.
#12 · Posted: 11 Oct 2004 09:09
Ahh... high on the new-car smell rather than the horse! Well, wind the windows down, and enjoy the ride!!
Moderator Emeritus
#13 · Posted: 1 Nov 2004 19:30
Here's a promotional poster for the production.
#14 · Posted: 25 Nov 2004 15:26
Sayyyy, I don't suppose there's a soundtrack for the musical Le Temple du Soleil? I only discovered its existance this past weekend, and got to hear a few excerpts at their official site...but unfortunately I'm unable to find much info about the show itself...what with the whole French thing. Can't say I know much French outside of "bonjour".
Where could I find a CD for this show/IS there one? (yes, I realize it would be in French or Flemish...c'est la vie)

*apparently DOES know more than just "bonjour"*
Moderator Emeritus
#15 · Posted: 25 Nov 2004 22:22
Yup - it's in French. You can buy it from Amazon.fr
#16 · Posted: 28 Nov 2004 09:12
My advice? The French is perfectly fine, but it's an adaptation from the original language (of the musical) which is Dutch (see an earlier post by me, this topic). To hear it as written -- and, IMHO, with a sharper, savvier cast -- go to the German shop Sound of Music (www.soundofmusic.de), or the NYC shop Footlights records (www.footlight.com, note there is no S in the URL) and get KUIFJE: DE ZONNETEMPEL. If you're a completist, of course, buy both, but if all you want is the content fix, the Dutch is the way to go. As you've already divined, it's a helluva score and very worthwhile.
#17 · Posted: 18 Apr 2005 22:12
Allo! ^^. I am new here, and I was wondering... is there any recording of either stage production available to buy in the U.S.? I saw the clips of Temple du Soleil and enjoyed them very much, and I really want to see the show in its entirety...
UK Correspondent
#18 · Posted: 19 Apr 2005 22:55
Unfortunately the show was never released officially in any language or format ; it was scheduled for a French DVD and VHS-SECAM release in January 2004, but was cancelled after the show was pulled before its premiere. It was filmed professionally and broadcast on Belgian TV in Dutch, and was also filmed in French at a live performance, although I don't know if that was ever broadcast.
#19 · Posted: 22 Apr 2005 05:01
The taping of the French-language company was never broadcast. I don't know if it was meant to be merely archival or if in fact it was footage for the never-released DVD that Richard refers to, but it's also a professional-level taping.

I was lucky enough to see both versions a while back. Here are the differences:

Since the Dutch version WAS for broadcast, it was shot widescreen. There are a few added video effects (i.e. computer generated bats for Tarragon's descent into the tomb) and a lot of transitional fat has been stripped away (i.e. the kind of brief scene that gets written to cover a set change). It also correctly dispenses with the giddy waltz between Calculus and Tarragon (a sweeping melody but a total "stage wait" in which nothing happens) and a little bit of reprise material. It's about 15 or 20 minutes shorter than the actual show, but nothing of consequence is cut and the result only makes the experience tighter, cleaner and better paced. And of the two casts (Dutch and French) the Dutch is by far the more interesting and witty. Actually, in part because theirs is such a consonant-centric language -- as opposed to French, which is more "about" the vowels -- they evince a much more American sensibility about musical theatre in re: timing/characterization/movement ... and for all its Euro credentials, the Tintin musical takes a very traditional, very craftsmanlike American musical theatre approach -- which is why it works so well -- so they just bond more organically with the material. (It also pays to note that the show was originally WRITTEN in Dutch. Ironically another writer was engaged to ADAPT IT into French.)

The French cast is broader, by degrees a bit less charismatic, role for role, and has more the feel of a road company. Not surprising, as this is virtually the same production with a replacement cast stepping in. (With one exception: Tarragon is the same actor in each. Actually, Castafiore was the same too, but the French language taping features her "matinee alternate.") They're all very decent, though, and the show survives handily (even if it sounds a bit less natural in song, owing to the differences in language cadence as set to the original sung-in-Dutch music). For some reason the taping is fullscreen, not widescreen, and the video director is less clever about where to position the camera, what to shoot and how to time cuts from one shot to another. As screened, it represented the entire show, unedited. If this WAS to be the basis of the DVD it would have been very nice, but a disappointment for any who had seen the superior Canal + broadcast in Dutch.

To clarify something in Richard's post (for those who may not know the history), the show was not pulled before its WORLD premiere. It opened successfully in Antwerp and Charleroi. It was ... well, it wasn't even PULLED, really, it was CANCELLED before its scheduled Paris premiere (for the creative team that was to be the equivalent of a Broadway opening after out-of-town tryouts), when big money financing pulled out, as a new theatre was being renovated for the production. With the capitalization gone, it all fell apart.
UK Correspondent
#20 · Posted: 23 Apr 2005 20:28
Thanks for clarifying that, Pelaphus, I was a bit too vague in my post !

I wonder if it was meant to be the basis for the DVD release - if it was to come out after the Paris performance, conveniently sponsored by France 3, would there not have been the issue of having the wrong actor for Haddock (Frayne McCarthy having been replaced by Patrick Rocca) and a number of the songs being in their 'old' form as opposed to the jazzed up, pop-esque Paris versions found on the CD released ? I'm guessing it was meant to be an archival copy, perhaps it could have been used as promotional device for the companies involved with the Paris production ? Perhaps it could even have been a rough-cut for the team involved with filming the Paris version, so they could see what to cut by having an unedited copy of the show to work from.

Regarding the filming of the French version, was it not actually meant to be in widescreen, but for some reason recorded as fullscreen ? I only ask because the footage seems a little squashed, as if it has been stretched vertically to fit the screen. I changed the aspect ratio on my TV to widescreen and it looked more 'in proportion'.

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