Eric Woolfson hit upon the idea of researching the life and works of Sigmund Freud with a view to their musical potential after he finished the last and tenth contracted APP album ‘Gaudi’.
He retraced Freud’s footsteps and explored his realms through his homes in London and Vienna (both now museums) as well as literary sources including Freud’s classic cases whose real identities he concealed by use of names such as Wolfman, Ratman, Dora, Little Hans and Schreber, the Judge. In addition, Freud’s writings on his discovery of the ‘unconscious’, his well known theories such as the ‘Oedipus Complex’, the ‘Ego’ and the ‘Id’ and perhaps his best known masterpiece, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ all served as springboards for musical ideas. Also enlightening were Freud’s own influences such as the French hypnotist Maitre Jean-Martin Charcot and Freud’s group of followers in Vienna who became known as “The Wednesday Club”.
After the initial research and development of the songs, Eric went into the studio with Alan Parsons and for three years they worked on this recording with the help of literally hundreds of musicians and vocalists. The resulting album ‘FREUDIANA’ was released in 1990 through EMI records and has been available until recently. The album includes 18 tracks with lead vocal performances from Leo Sayer, Graham Dye, The Flying Pickets, Kiki Dee, Marti Webb, Eric Steward, Frankie Howard as well as Project regulars Chris Rainbow, John Miles and Eric Woolfson.
About halfway through the recording process, Eric was approached to develop the concept still further into a musical.
A man visits the Freud museum in London with a group of tourists. He accidentally gets locked in when it closes and eventually falls asleep on Freud’s couch reading one of his books. Through his dreams he meets many of Freud’s patients on his journey to self-discovery.
Theatre Production History
The first stage production of FREUDIANA had its world premiere in 1990 in Vienna at the historic ‘Theater an der Wien’. Freudiana had an initial run of 19 months.