February 28, 2014
Album Review Fordham Ram - Matthew Michaels
Album Review Fordham Ram - Matthew Michaels

Rock and opera, two distinctly different musical styles, have been combined since the 1960s to form rock opera. With contributions to the genre from The Who, David Bowie, Queen and Genesis, it has focused more on rock music with operatic themes. Alexander Kariotis, a tenor classically trained in operatic vocals, has changed the mold by taking pre-established opera music and mixing it with original rock material to create a unique genre of music. Combined with a blend of traditional classical instruments and musicians playing inspired rock music, Alexander Kariotis and the Rock Opera Orchestra take listeners on a wildly enjoyable ride.

Borrowing material from opera classics like Leoncavallo’s Pagliaci and Puccini’s Turnadot, Kariotis has arranged completely new pieces of art. The music video of “Nessun Dorma” realizes the perfect balance of new and old, of opera and rock, within the Rock Opera Orchestra’s sound. Kariotis has also maintained a type of rock star aura while displaying his operatic chops in this piece, with music written by both himself and Puccini. The single, which translates to “No One Sleeps” in English, begins with a verse of tender lyrics accompanied by some piano chords. Soon, the drums, electric bass, guitar and string instruments enter as Kariotis builds up the mood until he bursts into his take on the Italian aria.

The Rock Opera Orchestra has created a sound that has not been heard before. You may not find a band like it on any Top 40 list, but its music eloquently combines classical and pop styles. You may not be hooked immediately, but after repeated listenings, the music will entrance you; listeners can blend the experiences of a rock concert and an opera.

The self-titled debut album will be released on Feb. 4. The forthcoming album will feature collaborations with rap pioneer Run-DMC and saxophone virtuoso David Sanborn. If you enjoy rock, opera or music in general, this is a must-listen.

Related Link
Back to List
Back to Top