Rock Operas. The mere phrase evokes images of grandeur and magnificence, a realm where music ascends to its most lavish and embellished form. It’s a place where melodies bear the weight of profound ideas and deep, delving and dramatic insights. And when it comes to composing a rock opera about nothing less than reality itself, it’s a colossal endeavour, but one that, thankfully, at least one person was willing to undertake.
Enter Les Fradkin and his opulent opus, “Reality: The Rock Opera.” This opus is nothing short of a cinematic spectacle, a widescreen fusion of metaphysics and rock virtuosity, philosophical musings and eloquent grooves. At first glance, hard rock and metaphysical contemplations might seem worlds apart. Normally, the intellectual depth of one wouldn’t align with the edgy, streetwise attitude of the other, but numerous films, TV shows and books have been made that revolve around just how much those worlds don’t gel. Yet, somehow, Les Fradkin manages to bridge this divide.
The outcome is a harmonious blend of music that is both grand and intellectually stimulating. It occupies a space between rock and smart place, oscillating between the accessibility of something like “The Little Shop of Horrors” and the philosophical musings of Bertrand Russell. I’m willing to bet that these two references have never shared a sentence before.