Writing a pop musical
by Yve Blake
‘Music for...’ is one of two Opera House Spotify playlist series where we ask friends of the House to curate playlists based on a theme of their choice: music for a particular moment, place or feeling.
Yve Blake's FANGIRLS sits firmly at the centre of a new generation of theatre.
First presented to sell-out crowds by Belvoir St Theatre in 2019, the dizzying success of this pop musical phenomenon has cemented FANGIRLS as Australia's contribution to a Gen Z wave of musical juggernauts—in the company of SIX, Mean Girls, Moulin Rouge and more.
When Yve Blake was creating FANGIRLS, she knew that she wanted it to sound like no musical she'd ever heard before.
She knew that she wanted it to sound like the best pop concert she'd never been to, "as dizzying and adrenal as a first crush". She also knew that it needed to sound like church. "The church of Harry, if you will."
This playlist, curated by Yve, is a salad of songs that led her to the sound of FANGIRLS. "Prepare for chaos."
▷ We Found Love – Voices in your head
Starting with an acapella track?! Bold! But you'll soon see why. The first time that I heard this acapella arrangement I think I maybe cried? The bit where they all go 'aliiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIve' changed my personality.
▷ We Found Love – Rihanna
The opening synth of this song is a bonafide antidepressant. Ask anyone. I played this song on repeat to remember the hyper, technicolour euphoria of being a teenager.
▷ Can't Touch It - Ricki-Lee
Put respect on Ricki-Lee Coulter's name. This song came out when I was teenager and still makes me go absolutely feral. It's timeless. To me it has huge getting-ready-for-the-party-at-your-friend's-house energy, which, sometimes - is actually more fun than being at the party. Also, why is the letter 'T' in 'Can'T' capitalised? If anyone can tell me, pls reach out.
▷ I Love You - Woodkid
To be a teenager is to feel like you're the main character in a movie. Everything feels like the stakes are life or death. So, I knew that this score needed to get ✨cinematic✨, and this song does just that.
▷ Safe and Holy - Christine and the Queens
Oyyyykay things just got spooky! FANGIRLS is about a girl who will stop at nothing, and I always knew that I wanted the show to take... a dark turn. The sound of this song was an early reference for how I wanted the audience to feel. The spooky backing vocals, the organ-like synth, the DRAMA of it!
▷ Lully, Lulla, Lullay - Philip Stopford
Now we're in full-out churchworld. THIS is what I mean when I say that I wanted the score to sound like church. It's giving 👼 angelic 👼. I showed this song to our vocal arranger Alice Chance as a reference, and boy did she DELIVER.
▷ Love For That – Mura Masa
I would risk it all for Mura Masa. His production was such an inspiration to me while I was crafting the first ever demos of FANGIRLS on my laptop. One of the reasons that I ended up hiring our (INCREDIBLE) music producer David Muratore was because his work reminded me so much of this song.
▷ Sila - SUD
Being a teenager is mayhem. It's chaotic. It's hyperactive. It's anxious, and sometimes a bit scary. So is this song, so I became obsessed with it.
▷ What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
The MOST fun part of the show to write, without contest, was the medley of four fake boy band songs. This song was not-not a reference.
▷ Dark Theatre - Wax Esctatic
I simply must close us out with a track from our very own music producer, David Muratore - aka 'Wax Ecstatic'. Dave crafted this track while sitting in tech for our original season, and that's how this track got it's name (okay... cute).
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