Back in 2006, Huntress’ Jill Janus and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Angus Clark started working on a rock opera, titled “Victory: The Rock Opera,” but things were put on hold after Janus formed Huntress. Now, the two have finally managed to find time to finish the project. More info and various demos can be found at victoryrockopera.com.
Here’s a synopsis:
“Welcome to the Divine Dive! We’ll take away all of your sorrow and give it back to you tomorrow. Introducing the star of our show and purveyor of purity, Victory! She’s the teenage phenomenon captivating your souls, the superstar savior, and the assassin of sin!”
And so it begins. The story of Victory: The Rock Opera weaves a tale of innocence and lust. Victory’s an internet sensation, a social media superstar whose God-like reach has given hope to the desolate and deranged. This is a sordid saga best viewed through rose-colored glasses.
But take a peek behind the smoke and mirrors. There you’ll find the lock that bears the seal of Zander. He is Victory’s adoptive father, the builder of the pedestal from which she reigns. He’s a crude man and the shady owner of the Divine Dive cabaret, where Victory is happily and unknowingly kept captive. That is until a wayward guitarist named Cameo enters the scene. But when Victory and her young renegade fall in love, they threaten Zander’s ultimate plan: to auction Victory’s virtue to the highest bidder when she turns 18. Enter a slew of seedy characters, Victory’s strung-out mother, Veronica, and Tino the benevolent, sleazy snitch.
The battle between innocence and lust has started. Victory discovers desire beyond her golden cage and the shame it brings. Will she break free or remain the same? All will be revealed in the story of Victory.
Clark said the following
“In ’06 I was working on a couple of band projects, one was very theatrical and Mike Benigno was the drummer. We immediately hit it off and started working on a couple of songs just as songwriting and production partners. I had a studio in a rehearsal space in Manhattan where we would record everything. After Mike met Jill they came in and we worked on a couple of tracks – one of those I still want to release! It’s called ‘Skin Tight Fight,’ great song. Jill and I really hit it off in that we can share ideas and are able to give and take criticism. So when she came in, the Victory idea was just a great progression of the writing partnership.”
Janus commented as well:
“Having grown up in musical theatre, I often draw inspiration from characters and actors in the musicals or operas I have performed. It’s part formula, part imagination.”
She also added:
“I created the role of Zander as a combo of Fagin from Oliver! the musical and Rob Halford of Judas Priest. I attended college for musical theatre and music theory, and have a vast knowledge of the theatrical world. I came to Angus with the skeleton of the rock opera, a few songs, and the leading characters. He helped define those roles and then more roles were created to support the leads, to define the storyline.”
“The storyline tackles issues facing young adults, particularly the title character Victory. The taboo attached to sex is archaic in the United States for many women, causing lifelong psychological issues. Victory’s character scope reminds me of young Disney or Nickelodeon entertainers who have been conditioned to praise virtue, abstinence, and Christianity until there’s some explosive, life-altering event that sends them spiraling into self-defeat. What inspired you to tackle the sexual struggle of young women, who are often shamed when the desire to be sexually active naturally occurs?”
“My hope with the role of Victory is to abolish some of that female sexual stigma, showing the humanity instead of humility, and building self-confidence instead of self-hate”
Janus voices Victory in the demos, while Clark voices Zander and Mark Rinzel voices Cameo on one track. However, Janus doesn’t plan on playing Victory in the final product, due to the part having to be someone younger. Although, she does think Clark would be the ideal musical director for the project.
The two are seeking to showcase the opera in Manhattan and are currently looking for some investors so they can develop things further.
On another note, Huntress are working on a new album, and Janus is also working on a project with guitarist Monte Pittman and producer Jay Ruston as well.