As the only American composer to now have written two shows specifically for the Takarazuka Revue (that I am aware of), I thought it would be cool to ask Mr. Wildhorn (or his PR folks) some questions. I then realized that if I did get a chance to lobby a few questions his way, I should see if anyone else has things to ask that I haven't considered!
Full disclosure: I do this as a fan of Broadway, Takarazuka, and the translation in general, and I am not approaching this from my company's perspective or as some sort of ambassador for the fandom. I ~sincerely~ doubt that I'll get a response (or one beyond "thanks for your message") but I figured I'd give it a shot. At the very least he can see that he has English-speaking fans of his works abroad, and perhaps send a plug the upcoming yukigumi show. Feel free to boost this post elsewhere, as I know The Scarlet Pimpernel is quite popular on the internets. I'm also aware that he is married to Wao Youka, but I want to keep the questions related to his profession and works.
I figure it wouldn't be a sit-down interview with room for this many questions, so these are just to give an idea of where I'm coming from. Some of these have been answered elsewhere, but could provide a nice ramp up into more specific questions.
- When did you first hear about Takarazuka?
- What was the origin of your working relationship with the Revue for Never Say Goodbye?
- As a composer, what sort of challenges did you face / freedoms did you have when working in the context of the Revue, in terms of vocal range or instrumentation? How did it differ from your many Broadway ventures?
- How did the actual writing / rehearsal process work when using translators? Were there any concepts or themes that had to be adjusted for a Japanese / Takarazuka audience?
- What was the biggest takeaway from your work on Never Say Goodbye (corny but ah well)
- How did your work on Robespierre come about? Did you specifically want to work with yukigumi or was it just a matter of scheduling?
- Do you see this work as a companion to The Scarlet Pimpernel?
- How was writing a one-act show vs. two-act? Do you work on the parade segment or is that delegated to the orchestrators?
- How does Takarazuka's interpretation of your works differ from other foreign language interpretations of your work?
- What can people look forward to seeing in yukigumi's upcoming performance?
- What are your hopes for the new yukigumi?
- Would you work with the Revue again? (corny again, but a closing question)
I'm running away with the possibilities before I even send a message, but I think it could also be fun to do a rapid fire question segment like I've see in various video interviews or podcasts, asking questions like:
- favorite instrument?
- song you wrote the fastest?
- song that took the longest to write?
- most memorable performance?
- most recent song of your own that made you laugh/cry?
- etc. etc.
Again, I am getting ahead of myself but I think it would be cool if it worked out! Let me know what you think! Apologies if this breaks any sort of rules or policies - let me know and I can take it down.