Theatre News

New Stephen Schwartz album and Defying Gravity single featuring West End stars to be released

Schwartz Songs is scheduled to drop later this month

Kerry Ellis, Rachel Tucker, Lucie Jones and Alice Fearn on the cover for Defying Gravity
Kerry Ellis, Rachel Tucker, Lucie Jones and Alice Fearn on the cover for Defying Gravity, © Westway Music

Westway Music and the Theatre Cafe have announced full details for Schwartz Songs – a compilation album featuring new recordings of beloved show tunes by Stephen Schwartz.

Lending their vocals to the album are a multitude of West End stars, including Marisha Wallace, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Samantha Barks, Jamie Muscato, Lucie Jones, Louise Dearman, Kerry Ellis, Rachel Tucker, Billy Luke Nevers, John Owen-Jones, Oliver Tompsett, Rob Houchen, Hiba Elchikhe, Alice Fearn, Rachel John, Peter Joback, Jamie Lambert, Jordan Luke Gage and Emma Kingston.

Ellis, Fearn, Jones and Tucker (who have all played the principal role of Elphaba in Wicked) will all feature in a new version of “Defying Gravity” which will be released as a single on 21 June 2024. The album will then follow as a digital and CD release on 28 June, with a double vinyl package dropping on 9 August.

Ellis said: “I owe so much to Stephen for the break I had in musical theatre. To be involved with this album and this new arrangement of ‘Defying Gravity’, which I have performed on stage for so many years, is truly amazing.”

Tucker added: “I respect Stephen Schwartz so much and feel honoured to have worked with him for a long time during my career. I never get tired of singing his songs and I was delighted to be asked to join a stellar cast on this album, to celebrate just how much of a genius Stephen is. His music will live on forever.”

Jones commented: “Some incredible performers have played the role of Elphaba and I’m so happy to be performing on this album and record with so many iconic other Green Witches! This new four-part arrangement is truly spellbinding!”

Fearn concluded: “Having been a long admirer of Stephen Schwartz, and been fortunate enough to work with him on several occasions, I’m thrilled to be a part of this album which truly celebrates the breadth and scale of his incredible talent.”

Over the course of his career, Schwartz has accumulated a plethora of accolades including six Tony Awards, three Grammys, and three Oscars.

The full track listing is as follows:

  1. Defying Gravity (Wicked) – Kerry Ellis, Lucie Jones, Rachel Tucker and Alice Fearn
  2. Corner of the Sky (Pippin) – Jamie Muscato
  3. Ain’t It Good (Children of Eden) – Alice Fearn
  4. On Wings of a Swan (My Fairy Tale) – Peter Jöback
  5. Colours of the Wind (Pocahontas) – Samantha Barks
  6. Let There Be (Children of Eden) – John Owen-Jones
  7. The Wizard and I (Wicked) – Rachel Tucker
  8. On the Willows (Godspell) – Jordan Luke Gage and Rob Houchen
  9. Meadowlark (The Baker’s Wife) – Louise Dearman
  10. Deliver Us (The Prince of Egypt) – Hiba Elchikhe
  11. Beautiful City (Godspell) – Oliver Tompsett
  12. Forgiveness Embrace (Uncharted Territory) – Jamie Lambert
  13. Lost in the Wilderness (Children of Eden) – Billy Luke Nevers
  14. Oh, Bless the Lord My Soul (Godspell) – Rachel John
  15. Children of the Wind (Rags) – Emma Kingston
  16. When You Believe (The Prince of Egypt) – Marisha Wallace and Trevor Dion Nicholas

Neil O’Brien, MD of Westway Music commented: “Along with our friends at the Theatre Cafe, we are thrilled to be releasing this spectacular album of music from an iconic writer and composer, sung by West End royalty. With the first part of the eagerly awaited film adaptation of Wicked coming out this autumn, this is a fantastic time to be celebrating so much of his work.”

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