Sunday, 11 September 2011

WYNTON WILLIAMS: Musical director talks new Father HoLung and Friends production

TALKING MUSIC: Williams and Andrea Jarrett attend the show's launch.

With their award-winning mega-productions (Moses, Jam Reggae Opera) and impressive track record for pulling off impossible feats on the Jamaican stage, it comes as no surprise that the latest musical from the Father HoLung and Friends posse has the makings of another epic and sprawling religious blockbuster. But the man once again charged with the awesome responsibility of giving Acts of the Apostles its musical zing is all too aware of the many hurdles to overcome. But that’s the way it’s always been for Wynton Williams.

“There are the usual challenges,” the long-serving musical director tells me at the recent launch. “And again I’m wearing different hats. As MD you have to teach the group the songs, and lead the recording process. Plus, we also have to get the CD out as soon as possible.”

For the multifaceted Williams, known for his booming baritone and commanding stage presence, it’s admittedly familiar turf. “Like most of the other shows we’ve done, [Acts of the Apostles] is an opera,” Williams explains. “It tells the story of St. Peter and St. Paul and the early beginnings of the church.”

The cast, he continues, comprises some nearly 60 actors, singers and dancers. The scope of the music, he points out, spans several genres sure to reflect the group’s signature blend of the traditional, secular and spiritual to craft a pulsating and entertaining theatrical experience. “The music has a bit more of a modern Jamaican and foreign feel. It’s like a mixture of reggae, mento, European and Afro."

Acts of the Apostles launched in Kingston

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