Composer Aaron Zigman’s new score for Lionsgate‘s For Colored Girls is his best work yet. The ensemble film, which premieres next month, is Zigman’s sixth cinematic collaboration with director Tyler Perry, who adapted Ntozake Shange’s 1974 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Featuring music performed by a full orchestra with solo performances by violinist Joshua Bell and Zigman on piano, the Hollywood artist said in a statement that, for one pivotal scene in the picture, he sought to capture the playwright’s poetic style and integrate it into an Italian libretto with homage to opera composers Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi. The result is an interesting new aria that uses the picture’s poignant main theme.

Aaron Zigman, a San Diego native whose previous film music credits include The Notebook, Sex and the City, The Proposal, The Last Song, and Akeelah and the Bee, creates a haunting theme in various formats including classical, jazz and opera, with generally flawless execution as far as I’m concerned. With one exception, each piece succeeds as a distinctive variation on the theme (which recalls Rachel Portman’s evocative score for The Human Stain) and I am looking forward to listening to Zigman’s work in the proper context when I see For Colored Girls. The movie features Kerry Washington (Lakeview Terrace), Kimberly Elise (Stop-Loss), Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog), Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness), Phylicia Rashad (Just Wright), Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act) and Janet Jackson (CBS’ Good Times).