News & Events: 'THE BEAR' ON LONDON LIVE

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'THE BEAR' ON LONDON LIVE

27th October 2018

An animated film made by TVC/Channel 4 1997/98 with many of the same team who made 'The Snowman' (1982) it is similarly based on a wordless picture-book by Raymond Briggs and called 'The Bear' (published by Julia Macrae Books), but was directed and scripted by Hilary Audus in conjunction with Joanna Harrison. Music and lyrics are by Howard Blake who also conducted The Philharmonia Orchestra and the singers: Charlotte Church (girl soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor) and Peter Knapp (bass).

Howard Blake writes: All the sung parts in the film originally had lyrics but sadly producer John Coates decided they were better sung to 'la, la,la' which was a great pity, particularly for Charlotte Church who was the discovery of the film and soon after soared to stardom.  I wrote music and lyrics of 'Somewhere a star shines for everyone' especially for her as 'she' skates down the frozen Thames. In the version shown on TV today however these lyrics are only heard in the very end sequence. If heard with all the lyrics 'The Bear' starts to become like a little animated opera. It was brilliantly performed live in this way in Christmas 2017 at the Forum Arts Centre, Bath.  Jason Thornton conducted brilliant performances with The Bath Philharmonia and singers.

Soon after The Bear's release it appears that the producers sold some or all of the rights to Harvey Weinstein, who evidently loved the music I had written. He rang me and said: 'The score for The Bear is not just good, it's brilliant. You are my man!' However I never heard from him again and for a while the film appeared in USA with a desperately inappropriate narration which drowned out all the music. . This seems to have been corrected at least in the UK, and it was good to watch with just the music as originally intended. Well done London Live! Perhaps eventually the lyrics will also return?

Film, score, orchestral parts and vocal parts with lyrics available for performance by contacting Highbridge Music: anna@annamenzies.com 07711 617718


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