Headbanging With Saruman

I had heard something about Christopher Lee creating a heavy metal album about Charlemagne a little while back so I went searching for more information. Sure enough, I found an article about a project the actor has undertaken to create an album of symphonic metal about the Holy Roman Emperor from which he is a direct descendant.

There is more information on the project at Charlemagne: By The Sword and the Cross. The album isn’t released until March 15, but you can listen to some samples here.

It isn’t screaming 80s Heavy Metal. That would be a little too much to hope from an 87 old. The Charlemagne snippets sound more like Broadway than heavy metal. One of the samples is actually labeled as a rehearsal for the stage musical. Though Lee apparently has collaborated with the metal group Manowar. You gotta give it up for a guy who will make a foray into metal at that age.

Much as I am a Lord of the Rings fan and liked his role in the Star Wars saga, I hate to admit the songs didn’t really excite me. I didn’t think it was very good Broadway type material much less metal. But if his star power leads to some people learning and perhaps remembering some history along the way, I can’t complain too much.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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