Evita

From Academic Kids

This article concerns Evita the musical. For the historical person, see Eva Perón.
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MadonnaEvita02.jpg
Madonna as Evita in the 1996 movie adaptation of the musical
Evita is a musical/rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the life of Eva Perón.

Like Rice and Lloyd Webber's previous hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita began life as an album, released in 1975, with Julie Covington singing the lead role. Other parts were played by Paul Jones (Juan Perón), Barbara Dickson (the mistress), Colm Wilkinson (Che, the narrator, modeled on Che Guevara) and Tony Christie (Magaldi).

When it arrived on the West End stage at the Prince Edward Theatre on June 21, 1978, Evita was played by Elaine Paige, who had been selected from a large number of hopefuls after Julie Covington elected not to take the role. Che was played by David Essex and Peron by Joss Ackland. The show successfully transferred to Broadway and starred Patti LuPone as Evita, Mandy Patinkin as Che, and Bob Gunton as Perón.

Plans were soon in place for a film, which was originally to have starred Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb and to have been directed by Ken Russell. This did not materialise, and it was not until 1996 that Evita came to the big screen with Madonna in the title role, Antonio Banderas as Che and Jonathan Pryce as Perón. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Original Song ("You Must Love Me").

The show was the final collaboration of Rice and Lloyd Webber.

Historical credentials

The lyrics and storyline were based on Mary Main's biography of Eva Perón, which was based on hostile accounts by Evita's enemies. Shortly after the musical appeared, Nicholas Fraser and Maryso Navarro published a much more impartial study of Eva Perón's life called, "Evita: The Real Lives of Eva Perón." They proved that many Main's assertions (which influenced Rice's lyrics) were false. The suggestion that Eva had first gone to Buenos Aires as the mistress of a married musician – Augustin Magaldí – was false. Instead, Eva's mother, Dońa Juana, had taken her there whenever she aspired to become a radio actress. Nor was it completely true that Eva was a chronically bad actress or that she slept her way to the top. Many people suggested that Rice's lyrics disparaged Evita's achievements unnecessarily, particularly her charity work.

Songs

  • "Requiem for Evita" (Chorus) is a stirring Catholic requiem sung by a grief-stricken cinema crowd when they hear of Evita's death
  • "Oh, What A Circus" (Che) is the narrator's disparaging assessment of the hysterical grief that gripped Argentina when Evita died in 1952
  • "On This Night of a Thousand Stars" (Magaldi) is a love song by a popular tango singer to a young Eva
  • "Buenos Aires" (Evita) shows Evita's hopes and ambitions whenever she arrives in the city for the first time
  • "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" (Evita and Mistress) is a romantic look at Eva's disappointment at being rejected in the big city
  • "Goodnight and Thank You" (Che) is a song telling the story of the many men with interest in young Evita
  • "The Lady's Got Potential" (Che) tells of Eva's success as an actress and a ] coup in 1943
  • "The Art of the Possible" (Che) sarcastically comments on Perón's ability to play to the masses and his ambitions to become the next president, the title being based on the aphorism that "politics is the art of the possible"
  • "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You" (Evita and Perón) is the first meeting between the famous couple, shortly after a charity concert they were both involved in
  • "Hello and Goodbye" (Perón's mistress and Evita) sees Perón's old mistress being dismissed by Evita
  • "Perón's Latest Flame" (Che) shows the upper-classes' disdain for Evita and the chauvinism of the Army
  • "A New Argentina" (Evita and Perón) is the election campaign to make Perón the new president
  • "High Flying, Adored" (Che and Evita) looks at the price of fame as Eva dances at the Inaugural Ball
  • "Rainbow High" (Evita) has Evita insisting on a celebrity/glamorous image in order that she can impress the people of Argentina and promote Perónism at the same time
  • "Rainbow Tour" (Perón, his advisers and Che) charts the success of Eva's famous tour of Europe in 1946
  • "And the Money Kept Rolling In" (Che) is the story of Eva's charitable work, which Che disparages (Che's song implying serious skimming), but the ordinary people love
  • "Partido Feminista" (Evita) has one of Eva's rousing speeches to the female voters (who she has helped gain the vote for.) Her rising popularity mean that many are pressing her to run for Vice President.
  • "She is a Diamond" (Perón) many of Perón's supporters do not want a female Vice President, and Perón worries that Eva's health is not up to the task
  • "Santa Evita" (The Chorus) is the song of Eva's devoted supporters, who see her as a modern-day saint, fighting for their cause against the wealthy industrialists
  • "Waltz for Eva and Che" (Evita and Che) has the story's heroine and narrator meeting in a dream sequence, in which they argue the rights and wrongs of Eva's case
  • "You Must Love Me" (Evita — written for the 1996 film) is a tragic song from a heartbroken Evita, revealing her fears of disappointing the people around her
  • "Eva's Final Broadcast" (Evita) sees Eva reject the calls for the vice presidency and swear her eternal love to the people of Argentina
  • "Lament" (Chorus) is the emotive farewell to Evita after she dies of cancer in 1952, aged 33

External links

it:Evita (musical) de:Evita (Musical)

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