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A Film by Michael Kantor


Composers, Lyricists & Writers

Tim Rice

Tall and silver-haired, Rice began his lyric writing career in partnership with fellow music student Andrew Lloyd Webber in the mid-1960s. Their first produced musicals were drawn from Biblical themes: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” (1967) and “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1969). Rice and Lloyd Webber pioneered the use of concept albums in raising both money for and public awareness of their music. The apotheosis of their collaboration was “Evita” (1979), a pop opera about Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron that was a success both in London and in New York and earned Rice two Tony Awards. After nearly a decade and a half, it was finally filmed in 1996 with Madonna in the lead.

Following “Evita,” Rice and Lloyd Webber went their separate ways creatively (except for the 1986 operetta “Cricket” commissioned for presentation before Queen Elizabeth II). Rice collaborated with composer Stephen Oliver on the medieval story “Blondel” (1983) and later wrote “Chess” (1985) with pop artists Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson (of ABBA). The latter went through several incarnations, beginning as a concept album and later staged in London by Michael Bennett and Trevor Nunn and in New York by Nunn. While the pop score produced the hit singles “One Night in Bangkok” and “I Know Him So Well” in England, “Chess” failed to capture the American public’s attention, partly because its use of a chess match as a metaphor for the Cold War seemed dated by its 1988 American premiere.

Tim Rice

Born: November 10, 1944
Key Shows
  • "Aida"
  • "Beauty and the Beast"
  • "Evita"
  • "Jesus Christ Superstar"
  • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
  • "The Lion King"
Related Artists
  • Patti LuPone
  • Trevor Nunn
  • Mandy Patinkin
  • Julie Taymor
  • Ben Vereen
  • Robin Wagner
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber

Rice had contributed lyrics to several songs used in features including “Hearts Not Diamonds” (music by Marvin Hamlisch) in THE FAN (1981) and “All Time High” (music by John Barry) in OCTOPUSSY (1983). In 1992, he was selected to help augment the score for Disney’s animated feature ALADDIN after lyricist Howard Ashman had succumbed to AIDS. Collaborating with composer Alan Menken, Rice provided the words for the Oscar-winning “A Whole New World.” He and Menken further collaborated on the stage version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (1993). Rice then teamed with Elton John for the songs for Disney’s THE LION KING (1994), for which he received his second Oscar for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” Rice picked up a third Oscar for the ballad “You Must Love Me” written for Madonna to sing in EVITA (1996). The song also marked the first collaboration between Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in over a decade.

Source: Excerpted from Baseline. BaselineStudioSystems — A Hollywood Media Corp. Company.

Photo credits: Photofest