2012 Flying High Synopsis

FLYING HIGH
Music by Graham Preskett
Book and Lyrics by John Kane

 

PERFORMANCES
Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, 2012
Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1, 2012

We will be presenting the American premiere of Flying High, with music by Graham Preskett, book and lyrics by John Kane. This is the same team that wrote the family opera Antiphony, which was performed by NCFO in 2002 and 2006.

Flying High was commissioned by the W11 Opera for Young People and performed by them in December 2001. It is a story of a wildly successful but unhappy pop star and a band just starting out, and how they both seek fulfillment in the unscrupulous world of the music industry.

SYNOPSIS

The chorus sings a song of encouragement, then introduces five teens (TIBO, DEE, SANDY, JER and KAY) who work for ROCKERECTORS, a scaffolding company. The five are in a warehouse grumpily constructing the set for a filming of a music video. They are also in a rock band, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, and they have dreams of glory and a signature song ("Flying High"), but Dee's mother, GRACE DAGGIT, who owns the company, admonishes them to stop daydreaming and get back to work. STEVE enters, looking for EVA, the star of the music video. Steve used to be Eva's partner before her solo career skyrocketed. Steve leaves, and teens argue with Grace about the wisdom of pursuing a career as a rock performer.

The Film Crew enter, first the TECHNICIANS, then WARDROBE and MAKEUP, and finally the CAMERA CREW, each more outraged than the other by the working conditions. They all look forward to their breakfast break and jelly donuts.

BRENDA, a stage mother, enters with her daughter KYLIE, looking for the auditions to be angels in the video. Even though the director hasn't arrived yet, Kylie performs her routine. While she sings, fifteen more STAGE MOMS (and/or DADS) arrive with their children and join in. MICKEY KING, the producer, enters and is approached by the Stage Moms, but King hates kids and admonishes them to keep the Children away from him, a sentiment echoed by KING'S MEN, the producer's entourage.

King approaches MORRIS FILCH, Eva's agent. Eva dislikes the song, even thought it was written by rock legend JERRY ROONEY, and she is having second thoughts about doing the video shoot. King orders Morris to convince Eva to follow through with her obligations. Eva enters and tells Morris of her misgivings, but he convinces her to do it.

ROSCOE BREEN, the world-famous director, enters with his choreographer, BAMBI. Roscoe has just flown in from L.A. and is very jet lagged. The Children audition for Roscoe, but he falls asleep. Having missed the auditions, Roscoe makes all the Children angels for the shoot, to the dismay of the Wardrobe Crew, who don't have that many angel costumes. Roscoe tells them to improvise, and he invokes his muse in preparation for the shoot.

Eva enters and informs Roscoe of her feelings about the song. Roscoe convinces Eva to give the song a second chance. Bambi leads the Children back on-stage, now wearing a variety of winged costumes, each less like an angel than the next. Just before the shoot is to begin, the catering truck arrives with a large supply of jelly donuts, and everyone runs off for breakfast.

The dancers for the video shoot rehearse their steps. Kylie and the other Children sneak on-stage carrying jelly donuts, a rare treat because they are all on strict diets dictated by their controlling mothers. King's Men taunt and tease the Children, but the Stage Moms come to their Children's defense and drive King's Men away. The Children have a newfound respect for their mothers.

The cast and Film Crew enter and take their positions for the video shoot. The cast dances and lip-syncs to the music of "Everyone Has an Angel", but midway through Eva runs off the set in emotional distress. The line in the song "I clipped my angel's wings" makes her realize that she feels constrained in her life as a rock star, and was happier before her meteoric rise. Morris threatens Eva with legal action if she doesn't complete the video. Steve enters and frightens Morris away.

Steve and Eva reminisce, and Steve urges Eva to run off with him, but she refuses. King tells Eva her success is entirely dependent on him, and she should be grateful. Jerry Rooney enters, stopping by on his way to Switzerland. He is in poor health and he sings of his debaucherous life style that has led to his current condition. King, Morris and King's Men resume intimidating Eva. Steve reappears and this time Eva leaves with him, jettisoning her rock star life. King cancels the shoot, but Roscoe offers to assume the cost, if they can find a video to shoot. Dee volunteers The Usual Suspects, and they sing "Flying High" for Roscoe. He loves it and signs them to a contract.

Months later, The Usual Suspects have cut a wildly successful album and are up for an MTV music award. Steve and Eva, who are again performing together, are the hosts. The Usual Suspects win, and everyone sings "Flying High".