Roger Waters interview updates
Written by Matt   
Monday, 26 September 2005

We reported at the end of last week that Roger Waters was due to appear on the MSN chat site last night, answering questions submitted by fans relating to his newly released opera, Ca Ira.

At the last moment, we received an email advising that due to scheduling problems, the webchat has been postponed. As yet, a new date for the interview has not been set. As soon as we know, we'll pass on the details.

Roger is currently hard at work in New York, being interviewed by various printed media, radio and television stations. A couple of interviews have already appeared, the first in the newspaper USA Today, yesterday.

In the report, Roger notes that "In 1987 or '88, Etienne and Nadine [Roda-Gil] came with a manuscript, that was all handwritten, with illustrations by Nadine. They asked if I would set it to music."

On reaching the desk of then-French President François Mitterrand at the end of 1988, who was sufficiently impressed to suggest that the Paris Opera consider staging it as part of their celebration of the revolution's bicentennial the following July, he said "When push came to shove, I think it stuck in the Gallic craw that a) I was English and b) I had been in a pop group - though the French are better at allowing movement between disciplines. Then Nadine died, and we put the project on the shelf. I picked it up again in '95."

Also in the article, Roger draws parallels between late 18th-century France and current social conditions. "[The French Revolution was] very much like the situation we have now with some Western civilized nations. I think George (W.) Bush believes that he's operating on a license from the Almighty. And you have a very, very small number of people who control 99% of all the stuff in the world, whereas the rest are like the French peasantry were."

Finally, Roger talks about his next rock album, provisionally called "Heartland". "I've worked on a lot of songs, and I have different ideas about how to put them together. I have a feeling the ones about political matters will get separated from the ones about love and loss."

The full article and interview can be read at their website.

The Chicago Sun Times has Roger talking of the persuasion of his record company regarding a translation of the Gallic piece. "Sony urged me to use English instead of French, so I wrote an English version of Etienne and Nadine's work, and then I felt compelled to expand on their original text. Their work was really a series of gorgeous tableaux, and I added more personal narrative and history for some of the characters."

In the article, they note that Waters' music recalls the lush, hyper-Romantic sound of opera composers like Puccini. "[He is] definitely an inspiration," concurs Waters, who also sees commonalities between some of Puccini's own music and his own: "After all, his opera 'Tosca' takes place in a police state." Again, the strong parallels between the turbulence of the French Revolution and contemporary geopolitics are brought into focus. "All my life, I have been preoccupied with the great tragedy of losing family in wars. The pain of losing a parent or a child in [an act of] violence that is purposefully and directly generated by political forces is in a certain way harder to bear that if someone dies in, say, an accident. The death feels more preventable."

The full article and interview can be read at their website.