Albums

Jekyll and Hyde – Original Concept Recording 1990

Jekyll and Hyde – Original Concept Recording 1990

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Synopsis

It is 1889 in London. We meet one of Harley Street’s most brilliant and eligible young doctors. Henry Jekyll, on a doubly memorable day in his life – firstly – the breakthrough moment in his revolutionary medical research to separate the elements of good and evil in the human mind – and secondly, the occasion of his engagement to Lisa Carew, the dazzling daughter of Sir Danvers Carew, an eminent and revered figure of London society, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the great London hospital to whom Jekyll is about to present the findings of his research. The glittering social success of the engagement party is swiftly obliterated the following day by the Board of Governors’ total rejection of Jekyll’s radical proposals. He insists he can separate good and evil in mankind, but needs to conduct a human experiment to establish conclusive proof. His ideas are greeted with withering scorn by the cynical governors. Their unanimous negativity crushes Jekyll’s immediate dream, but not his determination to continue. Consumed with anger and frustration, Jekyll wanders home to Harley Street through the dark side of London. Drowning his sorrows in a bawdy London pub, he encounters Lucy, a sweet-and-spicy, sympathetic and seductive young lady-of-the-night who plies her trade there, and who is destined to become a determining factor in the life of both Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. The unlikely pair, Henry and Lucy, share a drink or two, a confidence or two, and the realization that each of them has found an unexpected friend. Returning to his home and his laboratory, Jekyll’s self confidence returns, and he resolves to risk everything for his beliefs. With questionable logic, he convinces himself that the ideal and indeed the only subject for his ultimate experiment is himself. This is the one secret he dare not share with his beloved Lisa. He knows he has her unswerving support in all his work, but the dangerous line he now proposes to cross would certainly meet with her disapproval. The risks are too great. What would happen if something went wrong? That question will shortly be all-too-tragically answered. Recording every detail of the experiment in his journal, Jekyll prepares and consumes his formula HJ7. Within minutes it takes effect – disastrously – and transforms him from the good, quiet, normal, civilised doctor into the crazed, uninhibited, violent, amoral, libidinous monster Edward Hyde. All the qualities we have admired in Henry Jekyll give way to his basest animal instincts. In the persona of Hyde, Jekyll displays all the hidden and repressed characteristics of his nature. This terrifying other half of the man emerges from his subconscious to wreak a terrible vengeance on society for its neglect and injustice towards Henry Jekyll. His revenge is swift and uncompromising – a string of ghastly, cold-blooded murders – his victims those same hypocritical pillars of respectability, the Hospital Board of Governors who denied Jekyll the right to try and serve medicine and mankind. Jekyll’s frustrations are finally resolved by his avenging devil, Hyde. But it doesn’t end there. The horrendous pendulum swings back and forth between Jekyll and Hyde, gathering momentum as Jekyll continues to gamble with death, prepared to risk everything he cherishes in his desperate struggle to achieve his ultimate purpose – the isolation of good from evil in man. But as the drama spirals relentlessly upwards, the very opposite occurs, and the victims become those nearest and dearest to him – Lisa, Lucy and himself! – the three people whose loves, hopes, dreams, fears and despairs are at the center of this “Highlights” album. As two halves of the same man, good and evil, Jekyll and Hyde’s divided and tormented mind throws Lisa and Lucy into an equivalent cauldron of emotional turbulence and terror. He envisages them as the two blurred halves of the same woman – each of whom, but for the grace and whims of God, might have been each other, and each destined to become Hyde’s ultimate victim, as the goodness of Jekyll slowly drowns inside the merciless monster of his own creation – himself. – Leslie Bricusse

Credits

Lucy / Lisa: Linda Eder Jekyll / Hyde: Colm Wilkinson Producer: Frank Wlldhorn and Karl Richardson Orchestrated and Conducted by Kim Scharnberg