Premieres Sunday, August 7 at 9:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV)
Hartford, Conn (August 4, 2011) – Since they first hit the stage 12 years ago, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) has grown into one of the largest touring acts in the world by doing something completely different from every other group out there. A progressive rock band that incorporates classical, orchestral and symphonic elements into hard rock and heavy metal while delivering a massive light show of lasers, pyrotechnics, moving trusses and video screens all synchronized to music. It’s what TSO creator Paul O’Neill calls “Rock Theater.”
Premiering Sunday, August 7 at 9:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV, Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater is a new special that presents the past, present and future of the group through live performance and interview segments taken over the last few years during the group annual Winter Tour.
The creation of “Rock Theater” began when O’Neill and TSO set their sights on one of the most beloved and important composers the world has ever seen: Ludwig van Beethoven. “I was always fascinated by Beethoven,” said creator/writer/producer O’Neill. “He did not come from a rich family, made his way to Vienna — which at that time was the capital of the musical world — and by the time he was 21 was recognized as one of the greatest piano players in the world by the likes of Mozart. By the time he was 25, he realized he was going completely deaf and if he had just crawled into a corner and given up on life, nobody would have judged him harshly. Instead he went on to write some of the greatest music that has ever been created, music that would bring joy, happiness and peace to countless billions but that he himself would never hear.”
O’Neill’s Beethoven’s Last Night combines 50% what actually happened with 50% what might have happened to create a fascinating tale of Beethoven’s final evening. To pay tribute to the great composer TSO fused together many of his most enduring melodies with new hard rocking instrumentals. They also wrote several original compositions to create a theatrical experience that, combined with arena rock, takes the art form to unprecedented levels.
· Believe – This classic from the Night Castle album originally came from Gutter Ballet, a Broadway play written by O’Neill that TSO is in the studio recording.
· The Dark – This vocal from the rock opera Beethoven’s Last Night shows the character “Fate” explaining herself before walking Beethoven through different scenes in his life.
· Requiem – This take on the classic “Beethoven 5th Symphony” has been a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song for years. O’Neill explains: “Beethoven was one of the first ‘rock stars’ and created a rock ‘riff’ that would live forever.”
· Beethoven – The “9th Symphony” of Beethoven is re-imagined by Paul O’Neill and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in another classic rocker by the band.
· Toccata (Carpimus Noctem) – This instrumental scene from the band’s latest opus Night Castle is a moment in time of the story and shows the epic battles in the Vietnam War in a way that only Trans-Siberian Orchestra can.
· The Mountain – Another TSO classical rock epic from Night Castle. TSO mixes their original thoughts with Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King.”
· Night Enchanted – This track opens the double CD Night Castle.
· Tracers from Night Castle is the ultimate live light show by TSO.
· A Last Illusion from Beethoven’s Last Night – another example of TSO’s Classical Rock
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 220,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show, The Colin McEnroe Show and Where We Live. CPBN also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV4U, a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more; and CTSN, Connecticut’s first 24-hour local sports network, covering statewide high school and college sports. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit cptv.org.