21. Nathalie Lorichs and Steve Balsamo Singing “Pictured Within”

Nathalie Lorichs and Steve Balsamo

Nathalie Lorichs and Steve Balsamo singing “Pictured WIthin”

Nathalie Lorichs singing backing vocals and Steve Balsamo handling the lead vocals for “Pictured Within”.

Vocalist Steve Balsamo practically came “out of nowhere” when he impressed Andrew Lloyd Webber so much that he landed the title part in “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the production at the Lyceum Theatre in London from 1996 to 1997. His TV performance of “Gethsemane” reputedly sold tickets for the show for GBP 160,000 within half an hour, and saw the world famous composer calling him “one of the most exciting talents it’s ever been my privilege to discover”. Steve had only played the part at college prior to this.

In 1997 he also sang the part at Værnes Church during the Hell Blues Festival in Norway – where Knut Morten Johansen was one of the organizers. Knowing Knut Morten’s part in organizing Jon Lord’s orchestral concert in the Nidaros Cathedral in 2003 – the concert that in large part gave Jon the confidence to continue with his orchestral music – I wouldn’t have been surprised if Knut Morten was the one suggesting Steve as a fitting singer for Jon. But indeed – the man himself assures me that this was not the case, and that Jon and Steve starting to collaborate had nothing to do with him.

Steve Balsamo reputedly has a massive three and a half octave vocal range, thus nearly matching the vocal range of the young Ian Gillan – who sang the title part on the original studio version of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1970. Steve matches Ian in vocal range, but has a distinctly different voice – what I would call a “cleaner” sound, where the young Ian Gillan could add a rawer, more powerful sound. Apples and oranges – both are / were great. Steve clearly states Ian’s version was a huge influence.

(A colour version of this photo has previously been published.)

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  1. Hi Trond, love the photos and am very much looking forward to the photo book. If you use the notes from the web, might I point out some minor typos I caught (exiting -> exciting, i -> I).


    1. Hi Gerriet,
      Thanks for the kind words!
      If things go according to plan, there will be more news on the actual book later this week, stay tuned!
      And thanks for correcting typos – minor and major! 😉
      The book will focus on the photos – this blog has more space for extended prose. There won’t even be captions on all photos.


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