Dangerous Liaisons the Musical

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Innocence • Faith • Seduction • Love • Betrayal • Jelousy • Deceit



"Dangerous Liaisons is a story of intrigue, of the perilous games played between people when desires are supressed and motives concealed. The characters of the story are extreamely passionate, yet exist in a time when passions were not to be openly expressed. What happens to a person who is denied their passions? In Dangerous Liaisons, the characters must resort to their hidden games, games that lead to a spider web of relationships pulled taught by unspoken tensions."

- Johnathan Daniel Steppe

"Les Liaisons Dangerouses is a classic French novel from which several film versions and stage plays have sprung, even opera and musical theatre. Its melodramatic nature is very operatic, and cries out to be set to music. But the nature of the story, the characters and the complexities of the plot demand the grittier performance, faster pace and flexibilities that are afforded in a musical, that you just can't pull off as well in pure opera. ...Ours, though classically flavored, is a large-scale, Broadway-type show that draws from the features of both worlds, falling somewhere between musical theatre and opera."

- Malcolm Caluori


From composer Malcolm Caluori, with libretto by Johnathan Daniel Steppe, the high art and irresistibility of opera meet the immediacy and mass accessibility of musical theatre in a balance perfectly struck for this widely adapted tale of sexual conquest and intrigue.
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a work poised between two worlds. On the one hand, the stature of classic literature. On the other, a wildly popular appeal, captivating a clamoring mass audience. Its immediate popularity, scandal and overwhelming success has since led to a proliferation of innumerable derivations in all genres. Yet, despite the novel's seductive antihero and his wicked, domineering counterpart, its extreme emotions, brilliant comedy and high melodramatic tragedy, no opera or musical based on the lurid classic has been itself called a classic. Until now.


A serendipitous match to this two-worlds dichotomy, Johnathan Daniel Steppe and Malcolm Caluori bring backgrounds distinctively attuned to the classical-popular synthesis. Caluori's dramatic instinct and skilled orchestration informs a score that parallels grand opera. But as a melodist, and in his setting of the text of Steppe's sharp and loyal, episodic libretto, he betrays the deep affection and ties to the musical theatre shared by both collaborators. The resulting combination brings a vibrancy to the characters and a unique theatrical thrill to their circumstances, establishing the work as the definitive musical dramatization of the story.
Steppe's libretto to the controversial tale is a fascinating examination beyond the archetype, presenting complex, surprising characters that intentionally defy us to pass any casual judgment upon them. His thoughtful drama captures the deadpan humor, subtle innuendo and biting dialogue that make Dangerous Liaisons as entertaining as it is provocative.

For in-depth details on Dangerous Liaisons, click the links below.

Libretto, Songbook, and Complete Original Concept Recording now available in our online store.


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See a preview of the exciting upcoming book, Killing Valmont, by D. Hector Francis. More than providing an interesting look at music and lyrics, Killing Valmont properly views Dangerous Liaisons through the lens of drama, and ushers the reader through the process that gave rise to the innovative methods employed in its writing.

"...Mr. Francis' bold yet reader-friendly look
into the dynamic relationships between music,
libretto, and underlying drama...[considers] the stuff
that really makes musical drama tick. I think
even I have learned a few things
about Dangerous Liaisons."

Malcolm Caluori              

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Dangerous Liaisons Production Specs


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Full Libretto

Complete Original Concept Recording
3-CD Collectors Edition

Piano/Vocal Songbook


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