LOS ANGELES — Emmy award-winning composer Geoff Zanelli (geoffzanelli.com) created the original score for Showtime’s hour-long drama, The First Lady. The drama is a reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House, and stars Viola Davis (Michelle Obama) , Michelle Pfeiffer (Betty Ford) and Gillian Anderson (Eleanor Roosevelt). Lions Gate Records will release the official score album digitally on May 15th.
“The First Lady, which tells the stories of three substantial women in a way no one has seen before, is as inspiring a show as I've ever been a part of,” says Zanelli. “These are our role models whose struggles, triumphs and accomplishments shine and are as relevant today as at any time in our history. Showing the three unique lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt, while connecting them through their shared experience of being the First Lady in one series, is fertile ground for musical creativity. That, and collaborating with Susanne Bier, whom I've long admired, makes this a dream assignment for me.”
The score album features 28 tracks, with titles that include “Obamas To The White House,” “Hold For The West Wing,” “I Am A Roosevelt,” “Day Drinkin’,” “Betty In The Mirror,” “Michelle Obama At Tuskegee University,” “Pearl Harbor Radio Address” and “After All These Years.”
Zanelli, who won an Emmy for his music in the Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks’ miniseries Into the West, says he recorded a five-piece string group to augment the score for The First Lady, which focuses so much on intimacy.
“The sound was specific and personal to the three ladies portrayed in the show,” notes the composer. “The recordings were done remotely to ensure the safety of the musicians during the pandemic.”