As part of the A Level Music course, one area of study is Musical Theatre. They examine the work of a range of composers, including the legendary Leonard Bernstein. The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester have staged an acclaimed re-imagining of Bernstein’s West Side Story and our students were wowed by it. Caitlyn Schaffer, Student Ambassador for Music had the following to say:
As a huge fan of West side Story and Leonard Bernstein, I was very excited to hear it was to be performed at the Royal Exchange in Manchester with whole new choreography andorchestration. I went in with huge expectations and they were definitely met. The minimalistic set leaves a lot to the imagination, but the great acting, singing and dancing help you fill in the gaps yourself. The choreography had a great modern twist to it and it was great to hear all the musical features we discussed in class about Bernstein; his use of ostinatos, intervals and complex time signatures. The band in particular was my highlight- especially the percussion section. It was a great trip organised by the performing arts & Music department that was wonderfully educational and entertaining. I definitely recommend!
If you want to take up Caitlin’s recommendation, you can do: West Side Story runs until 25 May and the production has been so popular that the Royal Exchange have announced that the show will be returning to the famous in the round venue in April and May 2020