The name Josh Piterman has become synonymous with musical theatre in Australia, and last Friday he released his self titled solo debut album, featuring The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The award winning musical theatre performer is currently performing in Beautiful – the Carol King Musical, but began his career performing with The Ten Tenors and playing Tony in the 2010 tour of West Side Story. His career has only taken off from there, performing in Cats, Blood Brothers, Hairspray, An Officer and A Gentleman, Grease 2, Kismet, The Light in the Piazza and The Last Five Years, all over the last few years!
The album features 12 songs, all covers, but in new classical takes or in Italian and Spanish. Accompanied by the rich orchestra sound, the album takes pop into a classical crossover style, from a cover of The GooGoo Dolls ‘Iris’ in Italian, these are classics like you’ve never heard them. He brings a sense of class and polish, and an opera feel to many of these pop hits, a distinctly different style from some of his previous roles in contemporary musicals. Produced by John Foreman and recorded in Europe, its one of his biggest adventures yet.
On the album, Piterman has said he wanted to chose songs that he loved, that take him back to a specific place and time in his life.
“Having sung as a classical singer for so long, spending the best part of 15 years singing in Italian and Spanish languages that are so romantic and so lush to sing in, re-orchestrating these pop and rock songs with a classical twist couldn’t be more truthful to the person I am.”
My favourite track off the album is his take on ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. It’s such a beautiful heart felt track and one of the more modern tracks on the album, but the emotion of the song flows beautifully in Italian, with the strings of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘Creep’ by Radiohead is one of the most well known songs going around, and his version in Italian adds a whole new layer of hurt, heartbreak and wonder compared to the angsty rock anthem.
‘Hallelujah’, originally by Leonard Cohen, is another classic which Piterman more than does justice to. He soars above ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri in Spanish, reaching new heights over and over again.
Musical theatre fans might be a little disappointed that only one musical theatre song has been included, but it is such a lovely one – ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once the Musical. It takes on new life as a classical love ballad outside its more folky origins, and it is divine to listen to.
The whole album has a lovely nostalgic and romantic feel and feels like it will be a hit with fans of classic music, musical theatre and those who like a bit of Bublé: it has the same smoothness and ease of listening.
Piterman’s album is available to purchase from iTunes, JB HIfi, Sanity and available on Spotify. On day one, it was already the number one classical album on the iTunes chart!
More info: http://www.joshpiterman.com.au/#album