Wars of Light and Shadow: A modern opera

Janny Wurts Chat Area: General Discussion: Wars of Light and Shadow: A modern opera
   By Matthew on Friday, June 15, 2007 - 05:24 pm: Edit Post

Well here's the new thread, hopefully there's at least one member here who knows how an opera works!

Take it away Angus..

   By Blue on Friday, June 15, 2007 - 07:20 pm: Edit Post

The cast would be interesting... Pavarotti probably has just the right voice to play Arithon's part - he just does not bear much of a resemblance to our prickly Masterbard/Mage/Master of Shadow

:-O :-O :-O :-O :-O :-O :-O :-O

   By Matthew on Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 03:50 am: Edit Post

i was waiting for someone to vote for johnny depp for the part, singing abilities or not :-)

   By fhcbandmom on Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 05:32 pm: Edit Post

Matthew - you've got your vote! Johnny Depp for Arithon!

   By Blue on Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 06:54 pm: Edit Post

Actually, Johnny HAS experience as the front man of his own rock band. How well he sings remains to seen.

Let's just hope we would not get him doing yet ANOTHER degenerate old rocker impersonation for Arithon, though!


   By Angus on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 02:29 pm: Edit Post

No, the Keith Richard schtick has certainly run its course. Thank goodness there are no more movies to come, because now we have to flick past so-called "reality" Pirate shows on tv. Oh brother.

Casting Lysaer might be more difficult than Arithon. Sting can sing, and even act a bit, but he is a bit aged now to play Lysaer. We need a good-looking blonde who can sing.

Sean Bean comes to mind, though he's a bit tougher in his looks than Janny's art depicts the dishy despot (not my opinion, just a little alliteration). I don't know if he can sing, and he might still be plucking out those Uruk'Hai arrows. Man, that had to hurt.

How about Patrick Stewart for Davien?

We could get that guy, whose name escapes me, who plays the large gourmet cook who solves mysterious deaths, to be Luhaine.

Michael Kitchen, if he's dressed up a bit, could be Sethvir.

I am looking for an Asandir, though. I think a respectable baritone for him.

Elaira I am totally lost on. Not a clue.

   By Angus on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 02:30 pm: Edit Post

OH! OH! Helen Mirren for Moriel. SHE'D BE PERFECT!!!

   By Derek Coventry on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 03:51 am: Edit Post

Sorry Angus, I have to disagree there as I quite fancy Helen; I see her more as the Matriarch of Alestron!

   By Blue on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 06:57 am: Edit Post

What about Helen Mirren as Maenalle s'Gannley?

   By Angus on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 08:17 am: Edit Post

Yeah, but Morriel is such a dominant character for so much of the series. The roles you two have suggested are supportive, not lead, no offence to the excellent characters intended. Morriel needs a strong versatile actress. Helen Mirren would be perfect. Plus, she knows how to play a manipulative b-with-an-itch really well.

Helen is so versatile. She'd combine her Elizabeth I (no offence to my Scot ancestors) with Detective Superintendent Jane Tennyson (talk about a tough woman!), twist it all a good bit, and voila! MORRIEL.

Sorry, but I am right about this. I think she's the best casting choice so far. Just watch Prime Suspect for a while, and you'll see what I mean. For my fellow residents of North America, who have eschewed PBS for whatever reason, Prime Suspect is about the toughest, most intelligent police drama to ever come along. Makes NYPD Blue look like the Days of Our Lives (actually, I stopped watching NYPD Blue because it became too much of a soap opera). Helan Mirren, as Jane Tennyson, was about as tough as they get, male or female.

Derek, I quite fancy Helen too. But to be fair to her, don't you know that actors love to play villains? It's way more fun.

BUT... can Helen Mirren sing?

   By Angus on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 12:52 pm: Edit Post

I'd Love to hear Janny's casting choices...

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 05:47 pm: Edit Post


I have no idea...these characters are a little to clearly etched in my mind for another person's shoes to quite fit. (The name of the actor/ess gets mentioned, and I hear the internal YELL from the source, Noooooo, that's not Meeeeee!!!

though don't let that spoil the fun here....it is amusing to hear the internal dialogue, no doubt about it! I get the occasional laugh as the sparks fly. And the occasional (how Could they think That!!!)

I'd have a better take for the casting of Hell's Chasm, honestly.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 05:49 pm: Edit Post

Oh....I shoulda mentioned - do you Really want to hear Arithon's commentary about having his role played by Johnny Depp?

   By Blue on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 06:52 pm: Edit Post

Barbara Walters: So, Arithon, with regards to the upcoming opera that Janny's fans are planning for you, how do you feel about Johnny Depp playing you?

   By Jo on Saturday, June 23, 2007 - 08:14 am: Edit Post

I'm not sure about Johnny Depp for Arithon. Quite like Orlando Bloom for the part.

   By Sundancer on Sunday, June 24, 2007 - 08:50 am: Edit Post

Oh Janny! yes please! Arithon's comments on Johnny Depp would have me rolling on the floor!

How can you ever compare Arithon with the sort of rascal character like Jack Sparrow? Even Lysaer could see the difference, but probably from a different direction

   By Angus on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 08:05 am: Edit Post

In defence of Johnny Depp, I submit that he is a little more versatile than the Jack Sparrow character. He has played, from tv to film, an undercover cop, a delusional homicidal murder writer, a great lover, and a playwright to name a few. Oh, and yes, also a pirate.

I believe that the suggestion of Johnny Depp was due to his acting ability (check out his non-pirate movies), and due to his dark hair and slight features (remind you of anyone?).

   By Angus on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 08:14 am: Edit Post

Okay, instead of Johnny Depp, what about Ioan Griffudd (I know I spelled that wrong! pronounced Owen Griffith) of the Horatio Hornblower series, a bit-part in that fatuous and insipid "Titanic" movie (which was anything but a Titanic waste of time), and in the recent movie "Amazing Grace".

He looks the part, and he has experience on ships...BUT CAN HE SING!!!

   By motley on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 01:31 pm: Edit Post

Why not just have unknown actors...

   By Angus on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 01:56 pm: Edit Post

Okay, I'll bite...

Because I don't know them?

I think the fun of this is imagining who might "fit" in with a given character.

Janny has to be excluded though. She knows the characters too well, so that no actor could really suit the character.

There was a previous thread on casting that I looked at today. The guy that Blue proposed for Dakar - Friar Tuck from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (what idiot ever decided to cast Kevin Costner for Robin Hood should have been, like in Hitchhiker's Guide, the first person to be lined up and shot when the revolution came)- is brilliant! AND HE CAN SING DRINKING SONGS!!! AND HE LOVES BEER!!! I forget his name though, so I guess he's relatively unknown. There you go, Motley.


   By Jo on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 02:12 pm: Edit Post

I was going to say the same cause we don't know them. I agree with Angus Ioan also looked very sexy as Lancelot in King Arthur not a great film though in my humble opinion. Not sure about the others though. Never seen any pics of Elaira and all I can see is Prince Charming in Shrek as Lysaer think you may have said that b4 Angus or someone has.

   By Blue on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 05:00 pm: Edit Post

Glad you liked the suggestion, Angus.

The actor's name is Michael McShane, and he was actually the first person that came to mind when I read the description of Dakar in WoLaS.

He is an actor and a skilled comedian, having starred in the original UK comedy series, Whose Line Is It Anyway? I think he did a couple of guest shots on the US version of the series, but he did not stick around. I would sure like to see him in action again.

Another person who would fit the role of Dakar would be John Rhys-Davies, famed for playing Sallah in the Indiana Jones movies, and Gimli in Lord of the Rings. He has that booming voice going, and is also a very talented actor.

As for Kevin Costner as Robin Hood - well, he was the "it" boy at the time in Hollywood. I still like the little potshot Cary Elwes made in Robin Hood: Men in Tights about HIS having an English accent. If I'm not mistaken, Cary Elwes is the only Englishman to play the role of Robin Hood in a Hollywood production.

Yes, Janny, sadly Angus is right, you WOULD have to be excluded from this little casting thread; I hope we provide you and Don with hours of laughs, though, at our casting decisions.

I would STILL like to hear what Arithon has to say about Johnny Depp playing his part. :-O

What does anyone think of Keira Knightley as Elaira, though?

   By Trys on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 05:50 am: Edit Post

Cary Elwes's Robin Hood said something to the effect of "I, unlike other Robin Hoods, can speak with an English accent."

   By Ika Nurain on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 05:02 am: Edit Post

*laughs*....I love that line.

   By Angus on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 08:27 am: Edit Post


I am terrible at actors names. What has Keira Knightley done?

   By Robert Siller on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 09:45 am: Edit Post

Who would you let compose the music? I have not heard of many good modern opera composers.

   By Blue on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 10:48 am: Edit Post

Angus, Keira Knightley has been in all 3 of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as Pride and Prejudice, Domino, and a few others.

If you want a good online source for looking up things about actors, actresses, movies, and TV, try the Internet Movie Database.


   By Angus on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 03:23 pm: Edit Post

My vote for composers, since it is a modern opera, is Roger Waters, so long as he agrees to re-unite with Pink Floyd to do the music. I know it's not opera, but rock opera (and way better than that Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff) has its merits. Plus, wars of "Light" and "Shadow" would fit really well with Pink Floyd themes, dontcha think?

Actually, that whole idea is kind of depressing, as Pink Floyd's music is somewhat dark and brooding.

Finally, thanks for the tips on actors and stuff Blue, though as a rule I am not a "star" follower. I do remember Michael McShane from "Who's Line is it Anyway". He was hilarious. He would be the perfect Dakar, with a bit more cynicism tnan the Friar Tuck character.

   By Blue on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 09:15 pm: Edit Post

In Prince of Thieves, he was lot like Janny has described Dakar - wearing brown robes, and having the "spaniel beard and hair." Plus, he was drinking a lot, and singing VERY badly - I could EASILY imagine someone trying to imprison him and being driven bat---- INSANE by the racket.

That's why the first time I watch that movie again after reading SoM, I thought, "Wow, Dakar's movie debut!"

I also had a good laugh when I was going to work one day. I passed the waterfront, and saw this old rustbucket of a freighter docked near the ferry terminal. The name on the bow? Dakar.

Angus, no shame in not being a star follower. There aren't really all that many anymore that are worthy of being followed.

   By Robert Siller on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 09:19 pm: Edit Post

Looking back, I remembered a composer that might be able to accomplish a feat like this. John Adams, a great composer who actually writes (in my opinion, I am a classical instrumentalist) music.

   By Angus on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 09:00 am: Edit Post

John Adams it is then. I defer to your superior experience. I am reminded of an old British comedy sketch that was a political/cultural satire (Margaret Thatcher was their favourite target) by using puppets. It was a rather "low" sketch that dealt with flatulence, and mentioned the great composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.) as being great composers "who fart a lot", but finished with Andrew Lloyd Webber (one "b" or two?) as "an old fart who composes a lot".

Aye, that's the rub.

Robert, could you point me to some of John Adams' stuff? If you think it's good, and your in the biz (so to speak), I'd like to hear it.

I don't care so much about what kind of music a person composes or performs, I just care if it's good and played with passion. I like everything from the Blues to Beethoven, so long as it is done well. I can even take rap, if it is meaningful instead of base, though I must admit, it is a stretch for me.

   By Robert Siller on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 10:19 am: Edit Post

Angus, I would try and find the Opera "Nixon in China", or "The Chairman Dances", and the more recent opera "Doctor Atomic". Those are nice pieces, only "Doctor Atomic" might be hard to find.

   By Walt on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 03:33 pm: Edit Post

Okay.... Now y'all have my mind working in whirl. I'm hearing libretto's in my head; an especially taunting and catty duet between Alaria and Lirenda. I hear Lysander's cabal in a 3/4 time conspirital waltz planning the usurping of the Prince of Light's soul. Something very poignant for Alaria and Arithon's unrequited love with poisonous connotations from Moriel crouched like a onyx and diamond spider over the Waystone. Deffinately need the glouchenspiel for the Koriani theme.

Where's my keyboard when I need it!!! Oh yah... at work. By the time I got home, took care of kids, etc, the muse will have left me. Oh Pain! Oh temptress of a Muse!

   By Jay_Jay on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 01:50 am: Edit Post

Ohhh, I just had a brilliant idea that has me ROTFLOL!!

I picture Morriel as Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series!


   By Angus on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 02:47 pm: Edit Post


Waaaaaaaaaaay too young, and I never noticed before, but Natasha is curvacious (spelling?). I picture Morriel as quite, well, shrivelled.

The evil manipulation part is bang on, though.

   By Trys on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 02:48 pm: Edit Post

How about Natasha as Lirenda... and for Morriel/Seldie, isn't she blonde?

   By DarthJazy on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 11:07 am: Edit Post

spell natasha backwards its morriel in a nutshell

ah satan

   By max on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 07:50 am: Edit Post


   By Angus on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 07:59 am: Edit Post

Good one, Max! The girl can sing, and dying her hair should be a snap. I think that this is the first actor in this casting discussion that can sing.

The question is, can she act?

   By Angus on Sunday, July 08, 2007 - 02:47 pm: Edit Post

Even better than Charlotte Church for Elaira:

Romola Garai (she played Barbara Wilberforce in "Amazing Grace". Incidentally, Ioan Griffudd played William Wilberforce.) would be a good Elaira.

How about this: Michael Gambon for Sethvir? He played Lord Fox in Amazing Grace, and he also played the English spy teacher in "The Good Shepherd". He is certainly rumpled enough, and has that absent-minded professor bit down pretty good.

Can you tell I saw "Amazing Grace" recently? Good film, about an important social development (abolishing the slave trade). As soon as I saw Barbara Wilberforce, I thought: ELAIRA!

   By Angus on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

Since this is totally imaginary, how about casting dead actors? Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey, also had a brief bit in The Omen (the original, not the re-make) as an archeologist) would make a great Luhaine. He is rotund, and can play serious or funny.

I only ever heard him sing "Roll Out the Barrel" though...

   By Angus on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 02:35 pm: Edit Post

I forgot that Michael Gambon also plays Dumbledore in Harry Potter. Maybe too much of a parallel, but he'd still make a good Sethvir.

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 02:42 pm: Edit Post

Dead actors....you'd actually need a few.
(Kharadmon, Luhaine, & Colleague...)

Heck with being forbidden to participate!!!!!

   By Angus on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 03:13 pm: Edit Post

Let's see, Kharadmon could be played by David Niven.

Who's Colleague?

Davien? He could be played by...?

I didn't think that discorporate was the same as dead.

Glad to see that Janny's using her creator's privilege!

   By Blue on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 09:55 pm: Edit Post

Angus, I remember Leo McKern playing the crotchety monk in Ladyhawke - GOOD call for Luhaine!

For Davien, need someone who can play suave and mysterious - Pierce Brosnan

For Cerebeld, need someone who can be cold as ice (as priest of the Light) or scary as hell (necromancer's tool) - Alan Rickman

For Sulfin Evend, someone who can be smart, tough as nails, cocky and very, very gutsy - Hugh Jackman

For Lord Erlien, Caithdein of Shand, a shrewd, tough guy who seems unstoppable, with a craggy face - Clint Eastwood. See A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Lirenda - Catherine Zeta Jones. She has the looks, and skills to carry off someone as complex as our tormented ex-First Senior

Morriel (pre-possession of Selidie) - Maggie Smith or Helen Mirren - both great actresses, though I might lean more toward Ms. Mirren, as I remember her VERY well as Morgana in Excalibur, and she was convincingly NASTY.

Morriel (post possession of Selidie) - Cate Blanchett - not only a terrific actress, but I think she has the deceptively frail look and the steely interior that could pull this one off quite well.

Mearn s'Brydion - Jonathan Rhys Meyers - I saw two episodes of The Tudors on an online sneak preview, and the attitude and strength he projected as Henry VIII could easily transfer to Mearn. Plus, he is pretty close to how I imagine Mearn to look, too.

Dakar - I still hold on to my original suggestion of Michael McShane, but another one who could also pull it off might be John Rhys Davies.

Asandir - Ian McKellen (SP?) yeah, his turn as Gandalf was the convincing point for me, but he did really well as Magneto, too.

Well, that's it for now from me, my brain is about to shut down

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