Working a lot on rewriting the opening number for Nicholas & Alexandra. I love the music for it, but Steven wanted to give me more room to run with the lyrics and now that all the lyrics are from the children, who (if they don't know they are going to die) know that they will never rule themselves. A lot of what's interesting to me about this show, about writing anything about monarchs is that they're perhaps some of the only people who have a clear indication of their place in history, of the weight of their actions.
Some of the most amazing freedom is the freedom to disappear as a spec of dust in the universe, to get lost in the wilderness, to know for a moment that you don't matter. That your actions don't have grave consequences for many. I think about their burden, especially as children.
So I wanted each of them to briefly consider their place-- individually, as well collectively: Russia's/the Romanovs' place amongst the great rulers of history. And I was looking at writings and poems of some of the greats-- mostly Henry VIII & Elizabeth (they were really the best writers, or at least the best sense to surround themselves with good writers) (not to mention, the Romanovs had quite a bit of British ancestry happening, even if the Tudors and the Hanovers were not really related, and in fact were mostly German, but then if you start pulling at the genetic threads of European, you're gonna be pulling for a while.... My point is, they spoke English with each other and followed quite a few English customs. )
I keep going back to one of my favorite poems by Elizabeth I, "On Monsieur's Departure," which is in its own way about that burden. And I feel I may have Alexei quote her or echo her for the new opener.
On weekends, I love to get lost in costume dramas and royal family trees. If you're like me, check out one or all of the above mentioned. :)