Central Composers Alliance Blog - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/ Founded in 1995, the Central Composers Alliance, whose Patron is Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, was formed to promote the works of members of the Composers Guild of Great Britain who are resident in, or have close connections with, Central England. John Middleton Composers Classical Music John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/images/shops/182.jpg http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/index.cfm?composer=182 John Middleton CCA's Composer of the Month, FEBRUARY 2013 - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=37 <p><!--[if gte mso 9]> 0 0 1 1515 8637 Kingfisher Chorale 71 20 10132 14.0 <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normalmso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;} table.MsoTableGrid {mso-style-name:"Table Gridmso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-priority:59; mso-style-unhide:no; border:solid windowtext 1.0pt; mso-border-alt:solid windowtext .5pt; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-border-insideh:.5pt solid windowtext; mso-border-insidev:.5pt solid windowtext; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;} <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The featured Composition of the Month:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>St John Passion</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The instrumental and/or vocal resources used:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>14 singers; Clarinet; Cello; MIDI keyboard; Virtual orchestra</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">First performance details:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>7.30pm 23rd March 2013 at Loughborough Trinity Methodist Centre, Royland Road</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Performers on your recording:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Lyndon Gardner (Heldentenor) with the Ivanhoe singers and chamber ensemble, conducted by Kate King</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>What was the source/inspiration/commission which set this piece or these pieces in motion?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">St John&rsquo;s Gospel, from the Lazarus episode onwards, has fascinated me for a long time. I approach it from the viewpoint of a believer, but I am very aware that many people do not believe in God, or may not accept that Jesus is God made man. Whether or not you are a believer, it is impossible to understand the concept of being man and God at the same time. From where I stand, to share in our humanity means partaking in the human condition of uncertainty. There are indications of this tension in John&rsquo;s Gospel, for example in the lead up to the raising of Lazarus and the mental conflict of Jesus at Gethsemane. I have tried to imagine the tension and portray it in the music.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The second strand of inspiration comes from my period as a folk singer in the eighties. I used to be half of a duo called <b>Crossbones</b>. The other half was the <b>Rev. John Walker</b>, who was curate at <b>Loughborough Emmanuel Church</b> before moving to Nottingham as a parish priest. Our repertoire included the folk/gospel song<b> &ldquo;<i>I am the Resurrection&rdquo;</i></b>. Sadly, John died prematurely, but the theme of the song became central to my composition, culminating in the final chorus. John (1st photo, foreground) was a remarkable person and I dedicate this work to his memory.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It took me several years to track down the composer of <b>&ldquo;<i>I am the Resurrection&rdquo;</i></b>, an American called <b>Ray Repp</b>. I sent him the score and an audio file of the final movement, which he liked. As a result, I have permission to use his theme in the work and I am very happy to acknowledge the origin of this great tune.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>What would be a good programme note for this work which explains the structure, use of melody and harmony and any technical points related to the performers?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The work is in three sections:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>1. Prologue</b>: comprising an orchestral prelude, the raising of Lazarus and the entry to Jerusalem;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>2. Passion</b>: comprising the overture, Passover (last supper), Gethsemane, Arrest (and trial), an orchestral depiction of Golgotha, and &lsquo;It is finished&rsquo; (last words on the cross);</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>3. Epilogue</b>: comprising Gardener (appearance to Mary Magdalen), Thomas (appearance to the disciples, then to Thomas), and Fishing (appearance by the lake). I do not know of any other setting of the Passion that includes post-resurrection appearances.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Anyone who writes a Passion oratorio is likely to be compared with Bach and found wanting. However, my <b>St John Passion</b> is not based on a series of set-piece arias and choruses, but is through-written continuous recitative. I have tried to juxtapose, combine and transform fragments of the themes in a symphonic process. At times, the thoughts of Jesus are externalized to voices in the choir. I hope that it results in a powerful statement of Ray Repp&rsquo;s theme at the end.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The tension inherent in my interpretation of John&rsquo;s Gospel is manifested by frequent changes of key and tempo, dissonance within a basically tonal structure, and an episode of atonality in the Gethsemane section. I am no expert in music theory, but I think the piece also exhibits progressive tonality. People tell me that my music is modal and uses pentatonic scales. This is probably because my sound world is steeped in folk, blues, jazz and church music. I am not especially preoccupied with the dichotomy between major and minor. Indeed, I find minor scales and modes quite beautiful and often joyful.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have used a small chamber ensemble to accompany the singers (rehearsing in the 3rd photo), with the virtual orchestra reserved for interludes, except for the ending which combines live and recorded sound.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Music is music and you can&rsquo;t really describe it in words. I hope you will find it approachable. The sounds of the voices in rehearsal have been quite exciting. So my wife says. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The <b>recording link (see &acute;works&acute;)</b>&nbsp;demonstrates a section of the<strong><em> St John Passion</em></strong> which concerns the final appearance of Jesus, after the resurrection, to the disciples:</p> <p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Helvetica; "><strong>&quot;Peter announces &acute;I am going fishing&acute; and the disciples take up the call to go with him. A rapid fugato passage on the woodwind, using the fishing theme, might represent the fish making themselves scarce! A man appears: &acute;Children, have you caught any fish?&acute; &acute;No&acute;, they answer. They are advised to cast the net on the other side and immediately it is full of fish. At the same time they realise &acute;It is the Lord!&acute; &acute;Bring the fish - come and have breakfast,&acute; he says (using the motto &acute;I am the resurrection&acute; theme from Ray Repp). A reflective passage follows which includes some dissonance (perhaps the element of disbelief). Jesus then asks Simon son of John (Peter) three times if he loves him (and directs him to &acute;feed my sheep&acute;); the third time, Peter becomes exasperated: &acute;Yes, Lord! You know everything! You know that I love you! &acute;Feed my sheep&acute;, repeats Jesus. He then goes on to predict Peter&acute;s death and concludes by exhorting: &acute;Follow me!&acute; This heralds an unexpected change of key from F minor to E minor, like moving to a different dimension, and the whole choir sing the chorus of &acute;I am the resurrection&acute; a capella. Drumbeats announce the entry of the orchestra on the same theme, as the voices fade. The choir returns, with full orchestral accompaniment for the last line of the chorus: &acute;If you believe, then you shall live&acute;, the last word on the chord of A major, followed by a prolonged note of low E natural on the Cello, perhaps representing the eternal.&quot;&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Helvetica; ">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Helvetica; ">This link also takes you to the <strong><a href="http://www.composersalliance.com/music/182/Fishing.pdf">printed score</a></strong> for this section of the <strong><em>St John Passion</em></strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:15.0pt;mso-pagination:none;mso-layout-grid-align: none;text-autospace:none">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:15.0pt;mso-pagination:none;mso-layout-grid-align: none;text-autospace:none"><b>NOW LEARN MORE ABOUT JOHN&acute;S COMPOSING:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>When did you first start composing and what was your first piece?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I picked up a few chords on the guitar when I was sixteen and wrote songs into my early twenties, most of which are lost. Some of the tunes were used in my opera, <b><i>Ivanhoe</i></b>, which was premiered in 2011 (when I was 62).</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Who was it that first encouraged you to develop your interest in composing and how did they help?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I did realise from my mid-teens that I was going to write music, but the lack of musical education and my medical career were considerable barriers. When I took my children round their prospective secondary schools, I was introduced to notation software and this was a great revelation. I realised that I would be able to record and work with extended ideas in a way that had been hitherto impossible for me.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Some years after writing my opera, <b><i>Ivanhoe</i></b>, Lyndon Gardner (conducting in the 3rd photo) took an interest in it and helped me to revise the vocal lines, so that someone could actually sing them! He continues to be a champion and practitioner of my music, for which I am most grateful.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Who do you consider your greatest inspirations in terms of the major composers and which of their works has influenced you the most and why?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><i>Sibelius Symphonies</i></b>, particularly the second, fifth and fourth. I remember the hairs rising at the back of my neck when I first heard the strings&rsquo; entry after the opening pizzicato section in the second movement of the second symphony. It feels to me like conifers pushing up through the soil &ndash; very elemental. Also, I feel sure that Sibelius used the Robin&rsquo;s song as a basis for one of his main themes. The rhythm is so characteristic. The sounds of nature and bird song have always been important for me. One of my symphonies is based entirely on bird themes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I was also transfixed by the sound of Birgit Nilsson against the orchestra in the final scene of <b><i>G&ouml;tterd&auml;mmerung</i></b>, from Karl B&ouml;hm&rsquo;s <b><i>Der Ring</i></b>. Before this, I had not been keen on opera, but Wagner seemed to have written a symphony for voices and orchestra. So the symphonic strand is very strong in my imagination.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have already mentioned my folk, blues, jazz and church influences. It is very interesting to compare jazz chords with Wagner&rsquo;s progressions, particularly in <b><i>Der Ring</i></b> and <b><i>Tristan und Isolde</i></b>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Other than this, I have listened to a great deal of recorded music and absorbed ideas from many different and varied sources. In the last decade, I have been trying to understand more about modern music and some of it has seeped in. I don&rsquo;t think I experience dissonance in the same way as I did before. That&rsquo;s just in case you think I&rsquo;ve made a mistake. The MD and singers keep asking me &lsquo;did you mean that note?&rsquo; Mostly I did. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>How would you describe your style to someone who has never heard your music before?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It has ancient roots and strong contrapuntal elements as well as modernist tendencies! It is also rather unsophisticated and sometimes downright crude. That&rsquo;s what my friends say.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>What do you feel is original in your music?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">If there is anything original, it is because I inhabit a special place when I am composing. That place is at the core of my being and, at the same time, I feel a spiritual connection with humankind. The music I write is also connected with philosophy. I try to be true to this rather than seeking originality per se. Is that pretentious or what?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>How do you work? What methods of creativity and work ethic do you have? Do you solely use musical technology or do paper and pencil still form a part of your process?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Mostly I compose at the computer keyboard, sometimes with a guitar on my knee. Usually I just sing the notes or think them. If I have problems, I go down to the piano or even look at some theory (but not too much in case I get corrupted)! Some of the best ideas have come to me whilst out and about, though. I just have to keep humming them over to myself and sketch them on a scrap of paper as soon as I can. People give you strange looks.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Starting points may be stories, words or philosophical ideas. At other times it is sounds in the environment (especially bird song) or that just come into my head. Sometimes I sketch out a grand plan and sometimes I just start somewhere. Progress can be vertical or horizontal, depending on whether I am in a chordal or melodic zone.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I don&rsquo;t have to worry about where the ideas will come from. Somehow I know that they are there.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>What projects are you currently working on</b><b>?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I am working on a symphony with a metaphysical theme. Doesn&rsquo;t that sound mysterious? I have also written a play which I might use for an opera libretto. Both are totally impractical, I know. People have suggested that I try writing something shorter, but that isn&rsquo;t where the motivation comes from.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>TO FINISH, WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>GENRE OF MUSIC?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Too difficult &ndash; today it&rsquo;s <b>Delta Blues</b>; tomorrow it might be long classical symphonies.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>INSTRUMENTALIST?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Andres Segovia</b> &ndash; I saw him at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, when he was very old. He wouldn&rsquo;t stop doing encores and the audience backed out whilst doing standing ovations.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Jack Bruce</b> (bass guitarist formerly with &lsquo;Cream&rsquo;) &ndash; He is a jazz bassist who likes Bach. I put bass runs, like his, in all my music. The cellist who played for me in &lsquo;Ivanhoe&rsquo; thought she had been in a rock concert.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>SINGER?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>John Tomlinson</b> as Wotan. What an inspiration Barenboim had, to stretch a proper bass voice up to baritone. Awesome!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>CHAMBER ENSEMBLE?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>The Manhattan String Quartet</b> doing Shostakovich &ndash; is that a sensible answer?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>ORCHESTRA?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Maybe the <b>Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden</b>. They were great in <b><i>Der Ring</i></b> at Birmingham. The singers didn&rsquo;t stand a chance, apart from Hilde Behrens, and Tomlinson of course!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It was indeed a memorable series of concerts. I recognized many of the local psychiatrists in the audience.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>CONCERT VENUE?</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Symphony Hall, Birmingham </b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <!--EndFragment--> <p>&nbsp;</p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=37 John Middleton What the performers said about the music - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=43 <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&acute;We are all used to music that &ldquo;draws on previous traditions&rdquo;.&nbsp; Sometimes that means in reality that there is craftsmanship rather than artistry at work.&nbsp; In my own improvisations, I am sometimes satisfied with a decent result but I could never claim a distinctive or original voice is evident.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&nbsp;John&rsquo;s work, on the contrary, is unified by a unique and unmistakable voice.&nbsp; His music repays the attention required to perform it with continuingly evolving vistas.&nbsp; The musical language owes something to the naivety of folk music and, through that to an older, pre diatonic tradition but the striking thing about it is its novelty.&nbsp; There is a clear intellectual framework underpinning the work that becomes more evident with repeated hearing.&nbsp; Despite the scarcity of the usual melodic and harmonic anchoring points, I found it rewarding to sing and a revelation to explore.&acute;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;"><strong>John Bassford - tenor</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&acute;Having sung the parts of Caiaphas and the Voice of God in John Middleton&rsquo;s St John Passion, recently first performed, it is quite&nbsp;apparent to me that a new captivating style of writing matched with a different style of creating vocal line and complementary orchestration came together to create something exciting, vibrant and of profound spiritual value. To sing the work was actually a spiritual experience, capturing the text and expressing profound Johannine sentiments in a very creative way. A work to be taken very seriously into the future.&acute;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><strong>Stephen Foster - basso profundo</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&acute;I have been privileged to have been invited to take on major roles in numerous World Premi&egrave;res in the past, amongst which feature song cycles, oratorios, the first modern performances of three early operas by Stradella and Colonna, the World Student Premiere of Stravinski&rsquo;s Les Noces, the contemporary outdoor/interactive installation operatic venture &acute;Out of the Blue&acute; for the Seachange Trust at Great Yarmouth, &lsquo;The Last Broadcast&rsquo;,&nbsp; and the &acute;5K Opera&acute; which was broadcast on Channel 4 television in the UK and in San Francisco.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But none of these come close to the challenge I faced when performing the role of Jesus in John Middleton&acute;s &acute;Saint John Passion&acute; in March this year, 2013.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This new work by John Middleton is a truly seminal work which demanded a meticulous approach to the preparation of the music, a deep understanding of the biblical text and a very close liaison with the composer over a period of over 18 months.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Musically very difficult in its atonal sections, vocally demanding in the length and variety of the musical styles, frequent key and time signature changes and vocal colours required and a tour de force for any singer&acute;s concentration, it was a significant demand in every aspect of a singer&acute;s armoury.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">However, this was easily the most rewarding experience of my singing career to date.&nbsp; For me the SJP was a remarkable combination of the very personal involvement felt in performing the role of Gerontius, the sublime musicality found in the music of Bach&acute;s setting of the same Passion and the technical difficulty of Britten&acute;s War Requiem.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Above all, it was the intense personal feelings it evoked during its performance that I recall the most, which, after all the emotional output, left me in a heap of tears in the green room upon its conclusion.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">With its Symphonic and Concertante structure, with solo voices in subtly varied and constantly changing vocal and instrumental ensemble, the welding together melody with recitative aria and an almost Wagnerian thematic style of text delivery this work is very different from much I have sung before.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As far as I am aware this setting of the Biblical text has never been undertaken before in that it utilises only the spoken words from the St John Passion, which gives an extra impact that could not have been generated by a more traditional use of the text.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Every part of the work has something for both the listener and performer and on the evening in question I received many kind compliments upon my interpretation of the work and many more in praise of the composer John Middleton whose inspiration and dedication to his composition lead to a truly remarkable World Premi&egrave;re of The Saint John Passion.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Many of my other Premi&egrave;res have turned out to be just one off performances, never to be heard again, but this grand opus deserves a second, if not many more hearings, for it has so much to offer in so many ways.&nbsp; I just hope that when the time comes, John will feel that I did sufficient justice to his work the first time that he asks me to become Jesus once again.&nbsp; For me, that would be a real labour of love and one well worth the effort.&acute;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><strong>Lyndon Gardner - tenor</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: &acute;Times New Roman&acute;, serif; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=43 John Middleton The Bird Symphony and 'Bird Song' Art exhibition - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=45 <p>&nbsp;<b>&lsquo;Bird Song&rsquo;: Private View address</b><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </b>John Middleton 15.4.11</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I want to speak about the relationship of Music and Art, and then about the relationship between my music and the content of this exhibition by Art Space. It won&rsquo;t take more than six minutes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Music is, of course, one of the Arts, but it is not like a painting that you can hang on the wall, or a sculpture or ceramic that you can set on a plinth. It begins, continues for the duration of the piece, and comes to an end, but you cannot hear it all at once. In this sense, it resembles an Arts video. The piece can be very short, or can occupy more than an hour of your time, like a Mahler symphony, or my <i>Bird Symphony</i>. To appreciate what is happening through the piece, you might need a good memory for sounds, whereas you have the whole of a painting in front of you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But the difference is not so clear cut, because, if you keep looking at a painting or sculpture, you keep noticing different things. And if you come back to it another day, you bring a different set of eyes with you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">True Art, whether visual or audial, is not wallpaper: it tends to repay concentration and deeper engagement by the observer. We will get more out of it if we take ourselves up close, in a spiritual sense, and if we take enough time.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">By spirit, I mean the essence of an individual. It is a truly mysterious thing, but it is a subjective reality for all of us: I experience, therefore I am. Artistic utterance is a manifestation of that spirit. Sometimes we &lsquo;get it&rsquo; and sometimes we don&rsquo;t. But when we do, it validates our own subjective existence and connectedness with other subjective beings. It is an antidote to existential anguish: I am not alone; someone else has had thoughts and feelings that resemble mine. It makes you feel good!&nbsp; </p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My journey as a composer began with words and stories that moved me: I wrote the opera, <i>Ivanhoe</i>, and also an oratorio. The emotional content and the rhythm of the words evoked the music within me, as well as providing a structure. But I wanted to move on and write something abstract; not particularly telling a story; music for its own sake.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Art for Art&rsquo;s sake runs the risk of excluding those without training in the Arts. However, artists must really love their medium, be it paint, stone, music or whatever else: they must love working and playing with it. Unless the artist is engaged with the medium, the art work will be lifeless and is unlikely to ring any bells with the observer.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have always loved sound and I slowly became aware of the music going on in my head. The words and stories acted as a trigger to release the musical ideas. What I wanted was something that would also act as a trigger, but not so literal: something from Nature. Of course, bird song! I had been listening to it all my life: the Blackbirds and Thrushes in the Spring dawn chorus, the summer warblers from Africa, the waders in the autumn salt marsh - an expression of the life force! So the <i>Bird Symphony</i> became a cycle of the seasons and of life: it acquired a philosophical dimension. Not only that, but the woods, the marshes, and the earth itself seemed to sing to me, and I wrote that song down.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Of course, I know that the earth didn&rsquo;t sing in an objective sense, that the sound came from within me, from my experience of the earth and its seasons, just as the bird sounds in my symphony are not what I really heard, but motifs that have emerged and been transformed in my psyche, an emotional response shaped by a little bit of musical craft that I have learnt.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The artists in this exhibition have responded to the music and its associations in a variety of ways: maps of the warblers&rsquo; migrations; bird song manifested as physical vibration; the score itself as a piece of art; works with wider philosophical and political agendas. They all had a copy of the CD and had heard me talk about the underlying themes and ideas.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here, we can see a variety of artistic responses which resulted from an outside stimulus: the sounds and associated ideas from the <i>Bird Symphony</i> triggered a mysterious process in each individual, which eventually emerged as a work of art.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">What I have described, the artistic process, is what we all go through, painters, sculptors, composers and the rest. We dig deep and you, too, may have to dig deep in order to &lsquo;get it&rsquo;. Take enough time or maybe come again with different eyes and ears. You will not be alone. Art comes from the spirit, and is food for the spirit. &nbsp;</p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=45 John Middleton Programme notes for the St John Passion performance - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=46 <p><strong>St John Passion Programme</strong></p> <p><b>Dedication</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This work is dedicated to the memory of my friend, <b>Rev. John Walker</b>, a former curate at Loughborough Emmanuel Church and a member of the folk duo &lsquo;Crossbones&rsquo;; also to <b>my parents</b>, Henry who was a decent tenor amongst his other qualities, and Nora who didn&rsquo;t sing, but was a fantastic mother and example to all the family.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Composer&rsquo;s statement</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Although I wrote songs for guitar in my teens and twenties, my career as a composer was interrupted by going to medical school, followed by 36 years of service in the NHS. I always had music in my head, but it began increasingly to demand attention in the 10 years before retirement. During that time, I wrote an opera&nbsp;<i>Ivanhoe&nbsp;</i>which was performed in Loughborough in June 2011, this oratorio, and the <i>Bird Symphony</i> (used as the theme for the&nbsp;&lsquo;Art space&rsquo; exhibition,&nbsp;&lsquo;Birdsong&rsquo;&nbsp;also in 2011). You can find links to my recordings and scores, as well as more information about my work as a composer at <a href="http://www.composersalliance.com/">www.composersalliance.com</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%"><b>St John Passion</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">St John&rsquo;s Gospel, from the Lazarus episode (chapter 11) onwards, has fascinated me for a long time. I approach it from the viewpoint of a believer, but I am very aware that many people do not believe in God, or may not accept that Jesus is God made man. Whether or not you are a believer, it is impossible to understand the concept of being man and God at the same time. From where I stand, &lsquo;to share in our humanity&rsquo; means partaking of the human condition of uncertainty. There are indications of this tension in John&rsquo;s gospel, for example in the lead up to the raising of Lazarus and the mental conflict of Jesus at Gethsemane. I have tried to imagine the tension and portray it in the music.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">The second strand of inspiration comes from my period as a folk singer in the eighties. I used to be half of a duo called &lsquo;Crossbones&rsquo;. The other half was the Rev John Walker, who was curate at Loughborough Emmanuel Church before moving to Nottingham as a parish priest. Our repertoire included the folk/gospel song &lsquo;I am the Resurrection&rsquo;, by Ray Repp. John died prematurely, but the theme of the song became central to my composition, culminating in the final chorus.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The work is in three sections, a <b>prologue</b> ( including the raising of Lazarus) and an <b>epilogue</b> (post-resurrection appearances) surrounding the traditional <b>passion</b>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Anyone who writes a Passion oratorio is unlikely to be compared favourably with J S Bach&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SJP-Steinberg.htm">http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SJP-Steinberg.htm</a>. However, my <i>St John Passion</i> is not based on a series of set-piece arias and choruses, but is through-written continuous recitative as in a Wagnerian opera. I have tried to juxtapose, combine and transform fragments of the themes in a symphonic process. At times, the thoughts of Jesus are externalized to voices in the choir.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">The tension inherent in my interpretation of John&rsquo;s gospel is manifested by frequent changes of key and tempo, dissonance within a basically tonal structure, and an episode of atonality in the Gethsemane section. People say that my music is modal and uses pentatonic scales. This is probably because my sound world is steeped in folk, blues, jazz and church music. I am not especially preoccupied with the dichotomy between major and minor. Indeed, I find minor scales and modes quite beautiful and often joyful.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">My distillation of this gospel uses some artistic license, particularly in Gethsemane, which John does not describe. Instead, I have used preceding chapters 15 and 16, imagining the words of Jesus to his disciples coming back at him whilst he is alone. Elsewhere, combinations of eight voices (two each of soprano, alto, tenor and bass) are used in a similar way to echo and reflect the words of Jesus. For me, this relates to the idea of a spiritual connection with God and all humankind. Combinations of four voices are used for the dramatic dialogue, whilst the whole vocal ensemble (twelve voices) represents the crowd. There is some telescoping of time, particularly in the crucifixion, which of course took hours not minutes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">The orchestral prelude (4 minutes) uses <i>I am the resurrection</i> as a motto theme, whereas the overture (7 Minutes) deals with most of the other themes in the whole work. Since you will not have the advantage of being able to watch a live orchestra, there will be projected images from many different countries, symbolically linked to the music. In this semi-staged production, the action will be minimal, but I hope that the drama still lives. The paintings, by Erica, are a response to visiting the Stasi Museum in Berlin. Yes, there is suffering, but the human spirit can rise above it. Photography is by both of us &ndash; we have forgotten precisely who took which picture.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%"><b>Order of events</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Short introduction by the composer</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&lsquo;I am the Resurrection&rsquo; by Ray Repp (arr. John Middleton) &ndash; recording performed by <i>Crossbones</i> in the 80&rsquo;s</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>ST JOHN PASSION</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Prologue</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Prelude (virtual orchestra)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Lazarus (the first resurrection)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Palms (triumphant arrival and reaction of the authorities)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">INTERVAL (15 mins)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Passion</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Overture (virtual orchestra)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Passover (the last supper)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Gethsemane (spiritual agony in the garden)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Arrest (and trial)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Golgotha (virtual orchestra)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It is finished (last words on the cross; earthquake by virtual orchestra)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">1 minute silence</p> <p class="MsoNormal">SHORT INTERVAL (you can cough now)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Epilogue</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Gardener (Mary Magdalen and mistaken identity &ndash; see cover image)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Thomas (convinced by concrete evidence)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Fishing (breakfast by the lake and finale)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center"><b>The Ivanhoe Festival Singers:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Jesus &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Martha, the sister of Lazarus &ndash; Clare Proctor</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Mary, the other sister; The Maid &ndash; Kathryn Greenlee</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Mary Magdalen &ndash; Irene Goodrich</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Pontius Pilate &ndash; Adrian Dobson</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Peter &ndash; John Bassford</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Judas Iscariot; The other Judas &ndash; Martin Vindelis</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Thomas &ndash; David Henshaw</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">John &ndash; Barry Smith</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Soldier &ndash; Gerry Brennan</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">The voice of God; Caiaphas &ndash; Stephen Foster</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">SOPRANOS&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Clare Proctor</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Kathryn Greenlee</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Rebekah Broad</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">ALTOS&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Irene Goodrich</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Helen Shacklock&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cathryn Vindelis</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">TENORS &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Lyndon Gardner</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:144.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Adrian Dobson</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:144.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">John Bassford</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:144.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Martin Vindelis</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">BASSES&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; David Henshaw</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Barry Smith</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Gerry Brennan</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:144.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Stephen Foster</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:144.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center"><b>The Ivanhoe Festival Ensemble</b>:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Clarinet &ndash; Bob Greenleas</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Cello &ndash; Chris Dunn</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">MIDI keyboard &ndash; Chris Hill</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Music Director &ndash; Kate King</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Virtual orchestra engineer &ndash; John Middleton</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Vocal Advisor &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Repetiteur &ndash; Kate King</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Recording Engineer &ndash; David Concannon</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:36.0pt;text-indent:36.0pt">Cover Design &ndash; Erica Middleton and Susan West</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Projected Images &ndash; John and Erica Middleton</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Paintings &ndash; Erica Middleton</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center"><b>Meet the singers and Musical Director</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Lyndon Gardner &ndash; &lsquo;Jesus&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Lyndon is an experienced lyric tenor soloist regularly performing in a wide variety of engagements on the stage, in concerts and Oratorios, who has developed an enviable reputation as an intelligent tenor of genuine quality, with stage presence, musicality and an educated sense of style. He studied music at the <i>Welsh College of Music and Drama,</i> gained an <i>A.R.C.M.</i> diploma, made his <i>BBC Radio</i> debut in 1978 and his first performance on television in the <i>5K Pursuit Opera</i>, broadcast on <i>Channel 4</i> in 1992. Lyndon has many Oratorio, stage and operatic roles to his credit. Following John Middleton&rsquo;s opera <i>Ivanhoe</i> this evening&acute;s <i>Saint John Passion</i> is another of Lyndon&acute;s many premieres which have included the first modern performances of <i>Santa Pelagia</i> and <i>Il Mose Legato di Dio</i>, the World Student Premiere of Stravinski&rsquo;<i>s Les Noces,</i> and World Premieres of <i>The Last Broadcast, </i>and the outdoor interactive operatic instillation<i> Out of the Blue. </i>Future engagements include solo recitals, <i>Nemorino </i>in Donizetti&acute;s <i>The Elixir of Love</i> for Operahouse and the<i> </i>Verdi<i> Requiem.</i></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Clare Proctor &ndash; &lsquo;Martha, the sister of Lazarus&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">After graduating with a performers&rsquo; music degree, Clare worked briefly with Kent Opera and then taught singing in her spare time for several years.&nbsp; As a soprano soloist, Clare has an extensive oratorio and recital repertoire and a busy concert schedule, but her first love is opera and stage work.&nbsp; Clare was therefore delighted to have been invited to create the role of &ldquo;Rebecca&rdquo; in the premier of Middleton&rsquo;s <i>Ivanhoe</i> in 2011.&nbsp; Clare has sung in opera productions since her late teens and now has over forty major principal roles to her credit, having performed with several companies.&nbsp; These include the title roles in Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Aida as well as roles such as Mimi <i>(La Boheme)</i>, Violetta <i>(La Traviata)</i>, Queen of the Night, Pamina and First Lady <i>(Magic Flute)</i>, Donna Anna <i>(Don Giovanni),</i> Leila <i>(Pearl Fishers)</i>, Amelia &amp; Oscar <i>(A Masked Ball),</i> Marcellina <i>(Fidelio)</i>, Adele <i>(Die Fledermaus).</i>&nbsp; Principal soprano with &ldquo;Operahouse&rdquo; who perform operas in a &ldquo;portable&rdquo; format, Clare is to repeat the role of &ldquo;Adina&rdquo; in their 2013 performance of <i>The Elixir of Love</i> in June.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Kathryn Greenlee &ndash; &lsquo;Mary, the sister of Lazarus&rsquo; and &lsquo;the Maid&rsquo;</b>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Born in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Kathryn began piano lessons aged three and has focussed on music ever since.&nbsp; Having previously enjoyed local choral experiences at sixteen she successfully auditioned for Ulster Youth Choir, and two years later Ulster Youth Chamber Choir.&nbsp; With these ensembles she has had the opportunity to perform at a range of venues and events including the BBC proms.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Kathryn gained a music degree from the University of Nottingham in 2009 and during her time there took on the title role within the university Gilbert and Sullivan society production of <i>Iolanthe</i>, as well as musically directing &lsquo;The Mikado&rsquo; and producing <i>Ruddigore</i>.&nbsp; She also pursued solo performance in delivering recitals in the Djanogly recital hall and helped to found the University of Nottingham Opera Society.&nbsp; Kathryn has also led worship for the past three years at the Christian Keswick Convention.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Since graduating Kathryn has gained a teaching qualification from Nottingham Trent University and is currently employed in a small school just outside of Loughborough.&nbsp; She very much enjoys helping the young students there find their voice!</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">In 2012 Kathryn took on the role of the High Priestess in the Operahouse production of Verdi&acute;s <i>Aida</i> and this June will mark her debut in the role of Gianetta in Donizetti&rsquo;s <i>L&rsquo;elisir d&rsquo;amore</i>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebekah Broad - soprano</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebekah studied music and singing at Clarendon College under the vocal training of Lynne Wayman. She has over 25 years&rsquo; experience, and has performed regularly&nbsp; as a soloist with the Nottingham Harmonic Society and Orchestra da Camera, the East of England singers, the Nottingham University Singers and St Mary&rsquo;s Choir in the Lace Market, including solo work for BBC Radio 4. She has performed at many venues including the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, Nottingham Cathedral, Nottingham Albert Hall, and Southwell Minster.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Irene Goodrich &ndash; &lsquo;Mary Magdalen&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Irene studied singing with Christopher Francis and Thora Kibert. She is well known in Leicester and surrounding area as a solo singer and has won numerous prizes at music festivals in Kettering, Bedford, Northampton, Nottingham and Leicester. Having been a singer since the age of five, her life of solo singing has encompassed a versatile career. Her considerable acting talent has enabled her to perform leading roles in musical comedy, Gilbert and Sullivan, Oratorio and Grand Opera. Amongst her many leading roles are those of Carmen, Azucena (<i>Il Trovatore</i>) and Florence Pike (<i>Albert Herring</i>). Irene still enjoys singing, but now also fulfills her other passion &ndash; painting.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Helen Shacklock &ndash; soprano (singing alto)</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Helen has a&nbsp; B.Ed (Hons) degree in Education and Music from Birmingham University. She studied singing with Barbara McGuire and Barbara Lowe and has been a member of several choirs in the Midlands including Leicester Philharmonic Choir. She conducts St. Bartholomew&rsquo;s United Church Choir in Quorn and has sung&nbsp;solos, duets and trios locally. Helen has taught in primary schools in Worcestershire, Derbyshire and Derby City.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Cathryn Vindelis &ndash; mezzo soprano</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Has had classical vocal training for over 25 years. For the last 6 years she has been studying with Lyndon Gardner (ARCM) in Loughborough. She has extensive experience of choral singing with choirs including the Nottingham Harmonic and St Peters Singers and also solo singing ranging from private bookings such as concerts, fundraising events, weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties to the concert platform and theatres including venues such as the Nottingham Theatre Royal, the Nottingham Albert Hall, The Bonington Theatre and the Concert Hall in Nottingham. Roles include Mama Lucia in <i>Cavalleria Rusticana</i>, Nellie in <i>South Pacific</i> &amp; Anita in <i>West Side Story</i>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Cathryn is a member of Equity and has broadcast on local radio. She has made a couple of classical recordings including a CD of wedding music in association with her husband Martin. &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Adrian Dobson &ndash; &lsquo;Pontius Pilate&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Adrian has been performing for over 30 years and has a wide range of experience as an actor, singer, musician and theatre director, much of this in the local area, although he has also been heard in France, Germany and the USA.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He has undertaken a wide variety of lead roles in Musical Theatre and Gilbert &amp; Sullivan operetta, with credits including both The Russian and The American lead roles in <i>Chess</i>, Pirelli in <i>Sweeney Todd</i>, Ravenal in <i>Showboat</i>,&nbsp; Nanki Poo in <i>The Mikado</i>, and Frederic in <i>Pirates Of Penzance</i>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Following initial training with Lyndon Gardner, his classical experience includes being a soloist in Handel&rsquo;s <i>Messiah</i>, Stainer&rsquo;s <i>Crucifixion</i>, Faure&rsquo;s <i>Requiem</i> and as the Messenger in Verdi&rsquo;s <i>Aida</i> for Operahouse. He has been part of a number of local choirs and singing groups, including Loughborough Parish Church Choir, Leicester Philharmonic Choir, and Loughborough Male Voice Choir, and was instrumental in the setting up of Charnwood Youth Choir in the 1980s.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Adrian also runs local youth theatre, ACT One, is married and has 3 children. In his spare time he works in financial services!!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%"><b>John Bassford &ndash; &lsquo;Peter&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10.0pt;line-height:115%">John has been well known as a local musician for more than 25 years.&nbsp; A Leicestershire boy, John owes his early musical education to the famous Leicestershire School of Music where he played violin in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra.&nbsp; After leaving school, he studied organ and church music at the Royal College of Music.&nbsp; Active locally as a church musician for many years, he still serves as organist to a number of local organisations and is a regular guest at the organ of local parish churches.&nbsp; As a singer, John has performed with many local groups and continues to maintain the choir master&rsquo;s prerogative &ldquo;to attempt any vocal part but to give no guarantees&rdquo;.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>David Henshaw &ndash; &lsquo;Philip&rsquo; and &lsquo;Thomas&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">David (ATCL) currently sings in a number of choirs and opera companies in the Derby and Loughborough area.&nbsp; Chairman and Concert Conductor of Charnwood Opera until recently, David has sung leading roles including Germont<i> (Traviata),</i> Belcore (<i>Elixir of Love), </i>Sarastro (<i>Magic Flute),</i> Marcello &amp; Colline (<i>Boh&egrave;me),</i> Figaro<i>,</i> Escamillo (<i>Carmen),</i> Ramphis (<i>Aida) </i>and Coppelius <i>(Tales of Hoffmann).&nbsp; </i>David has also sung with New Opera, Derby and has sung major roles in all the G&amp;S operettas with Melbourne. As Resident bass with &ldquo;operahouse&rdquo; he has also sung leads in Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Don Giovanni and Aida. He won the Rae Woodlands&rsquo; Scholarship to observe at the Britten-Pears School and enjoys solo concert bookings, including Handel&rsquo;s <i>Messiah</i> at Peterborough Cathedral and most recently Brahms&rsquo; <i>Requiem</i>.&nbsp; Taught by Barbara Lowe and Michael Dewis, he particularly enjoys Flanders &amp; Swann; he sings with the Sitwell Singers and is choirmaster and organist at St. Peter&rsquo;s, Chellaston.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Barry Smith &ndash; &lsquo;John&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Barry began singing as a choirboy in 1960 at St. Martins Church in the Bullring, Birmingham and became resident soloist; subsequently trained at the Royal School of Church Music. In 1969, he won the Birmingham Music Festival &lsquo;best baritone&rsquo;. He passed the entrance examination for the Royal Academy in London but decided not to pursue singing as a career but instead to enjoy singing as an amateur. In 1985, he joined the Northampton Philharmonic Choir, performing many choral works and singing the bass solo in Faure&rsquo;s <i>Requiem</i>, Haydn <i>Nelson Mass</i> and Durufle <i>Requiem</i>. Barry spent the past 40 years on the amateur stage taking leads in many shows including Curly in <i>Oklahoma</i>, Billy Bigelow in <i>Carousel</i>, Harry Hill in <i>Music Man</i> and many more. Recent activity includes the bass solo in Handel&rsquo;s <i>Messiah</i> &amp; <i>Messe solennelle de Sainte Cecile</i> in Northampton.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Stephen Foster &ndash; &lsquo;The voice of God&rsquo;; &lsquo;Caiaphas&rsquo;</b></p> <p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:justify">Stephen, or to give him his proper title, Revd Canon Dr Stephen Foster holds a degree in music and a doctorate in theology. In the vocal care of John Chapman whilst at university in London, Stephen, a basso profundo, sang for a number of years at ENO as well as at the same time being a regular visitor to both stage and concert hall as a soloist in this country and abroad.&nbsp; Whilst reading for a second degree in theology and subsequently, within ministry Stephen has been able to maintain his semi-professional singing career, recently singing as near as Melton, Whissendine and Uppingham and as far away as Paris, Prague, Athens and Japan. Major roles in recent years include Sarastro (<i>Magic Flute</i>), Fiesco (<i>Simon Boccanegra</i>), Commendatore (<i>Don Giovanni</i>), Colline (<i>La Boheme</i>) and Truelove (<i>Rake&rsquo;s Progress</i>) in a very part time post graduate year at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has a number of performances of many kinds booked in the next months both here and abroad.</p> <p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:justify"><b>Gerry Brennan &ndash; &lsquo;Soldier&rsquo;</b></p> <p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:justify">Yorkshire-born Gerry grew up in a family where everyone seemed to sing, whether in choirs, concerts or the local G &amp; S, and eventually took part in his turn. On moving to the midlands in the 1960s he duly joined the church choir - becoming choirmaster (by default) at St Mary&acute;s R C church, Loughborough in the early 70&acute;s, and going on to do the same at the neighbouring parish of Sacred Heart in the 90&acute;s.&nbsp;&nbsp; After ten years in the bass line of Loughborough University choir he joined Loughborough Male Voice Choir where from time to time he acts as deputy conductor.&nbsp; When not singing he enjoys walking, doing crosswords and working part-time in Sainsburys.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Martin Vindelis &ndash; &lsquo;Judas Iscariot&rsquo; and &lsquo;the other Judas&rsquo;</b></p> <p class="Body" style="text-align:justify;tab-stops:35.45pt 70.85pt 106.3pt 5.0cm 177.15pt 212.6pt 248.05pt 283.45pt 318.9pt 354.35pt 389.75pt 425.2pt 460.65pt">Has had classical vocal training for over 25 years. For the last 6 years he has been studying with Lyndon Gardner (ARCM) in Loughborough. He has extensive experience of solo &amp; choral singing ranging from private bookings such as concerts, fundraising events, weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties to the concert platform and theatres including venues such as the Nottingham Theatre Royal, the Nottingham Albert Hall, The Bonington Theatre and the Concert Hall in Nottingham. Roles include The Defendant in Trial by Jury &amp; Tony in West Side Story.</p> <p class="Body" style="text-align:justify;tab-stops:35.45pt 70.85pt 106.3pt 5.0cm 177.15pt 212.6pt 248.05pt 283.45pt 318.9pt 354.35pt 389.75pt 425.2pt 460.65pt">Martin is a member of Equity and has broadcast on local radio. He has made a couple of classical recordings including a CD of wedding music in association with his wife Cathryn. He also has vast performance &amp; recording experience playing Bass &amp; Electric guitar in bands in the UK</p> <p class="Body" style="text-align:justify;tab-stops:35.45pt 70.85pt 106.3pt 5.0cm 177.15pt 212.6pt 248.05pt 283.45pt 318.9pt 354.35pt 389.75pt 425.2pt 460.65pt">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Kate King &ndash; Musical Director</b></p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">Born and bred in the East Midlands, Kate {B.Mus(Hons)} studied music at Birmingham University and accompaniment at Birmingham Conservatoire. She studied piano with Beryl Chempin, Double Bass under Tony Morgan and was selected as accompanist to renowned singing teacher Barbara McGuire. She then worked as a specialist music teacher in primary schools. As a Musical Director Kate has wielded the baton for many shows, including the premier of Middleton&rsquo;s <i>Ivanhoe</i>, and is currently Conductor for Christchurch G&amp;S Society.&nbsp; She is also in demand as a rehearsal and music examination accompanist and as a keyboard player in theatre orchestras. As a singer she has performed principal roles such as Amneris in <i>Aida</i> along with the title role in <i>Carmen,</i> Suzuki (<i>Madame Butterfly),</i> Flora/Annina (<i>Traviata) </i>and Third Lady <i>(Magic Flute)</i>.&nbsp; She has also taken part in a number of operas and musicals in the area and even performed as a session singer for Barry Manilow on one of his European tours!</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;"><b>Acknowledgements</b></p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">The text is freely adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">I have used the song <i>I am the Resurrection</i> as a main theme, with the kind permission of the composer Ray Repp. His music can be accessed at <a href="http://www.ocp.org/artists/634">www.ocp.org/artists/634</a></p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">Apart from singing the very demanding main role, I am indebted to Lyndon Gardner for his immense support and tireless advocacy</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">I also want to say thank you to my lovely wife, Erica, for helping me in so many ways with this project.</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">The instruments of the virtual orchestra are recorded sound patches from the Garritan Library, to be found at: <a href="http://www.garritan.com/">www.garritan.com</a></p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText2" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>CD recording of the performance:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Orders may be placed at the Sound Desk after the Performance&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>or&nbsp;to express an interest, e-mail &ldquo;</b><a href="mailto:john.brinks@talktalk.net"><b>john.brinks@talktalk.net</b></a><b>&rdquo;&nbsp;</b></p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=46 John Middleton Ivanhoe and the St John Passion - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=47 <p>&nbsp;Go to the Blog section</p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=47 John Middleton Ivanhoe Programme - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=48 <p>&nbsp;<b>IVANHOE 2010 VERSION:PREMIER PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Saturday 9th July 2011 at Loughborough Endowed Schools, School of Music&nbsp; </b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Libretto after the novel by Sir Walter Scott</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Music and libretto abridged and revised, after the first version of 2000, by John Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>The Ivanhoe Festival Singers:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Sopranos &ndash; Clare Proctor, Rachel-Louise Stonehouse</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Tenors &ndash; Lyndon Gardner, Ian Rogerson, Martin Vindelis</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Basses &ndash; David Henshaw, Stephen Foster, Chris Higgins, John Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>The Ivanhoe Festival Orchestra - directed by Kate King:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Violins - John Britten, Rosemary Dobbin</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Viola - Heather Marshall; Cello - Jo Eyley</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Flute - Jo Bestwick; Oboe - Liz Thomas</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Clarinet - Andy Cotton; Bassoon - Alex Preston</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Trumpet &ndash; Phil Reckless; French Horn - Simon Marshall;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Tuba - Andy Bestwick</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Keyboard - Derek Hunter; Percussion - Chris Featonby</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Artistic Director &ndash; Tony Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Stage manager &ndash; Sarah Hammond</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Vocal Advisor &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Repetiteur &ndash;Kate King</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Piano Score Advisor &ndash; Kate King</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Programme Cover &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>The Knights of Nottingham <a href="http://www.knightsofnottingham.com/">www.knightsofnottingham.com</a> filmed by kind permission</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Composer&rsquo;s statement</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Sir Walter Scott&rsquo;s novel of 1819 has been credited by such as Carlyle, Ruskin and Newman as increasing public interest in Romanticism and Mediaevalism. It mixes myth with historical facts and has also had an influence on the development of the legend of Robin Hood, through the character &lsquo;Locksley&rsquo;. The name of Cedric appears to be Scott&rsquo;s unintentional misspelling of the Saxon <i>Cerdic</i>. When I read the book, as boy of seven or eight, I skipped quickly through all the &lsquo;boring&rsquo; bits in order to get to the fighting. Sir Arthur Sullivan&rsquo;s opera, Ivanhoe, is indeed a romantic epic, lasting well over three hours, and including combat scenes which must have been difficult and expensive to stage. However, it ran for 161 performances in 1891. It had been preceded, in 1826, by a pastiche with the same title and a French libretto, written by Rossini, who recycled music from his other operas.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My version of Ivanhoe uses themes which have been cycling round my head for over thirty years. I always thought of them as operatic arias, but my musical training was lacking and I had no idea of a subject to tie them together. This changed in 1997, when I saw the BBC TV six part series, based on the novel. I realised that, aside from the romantic adventure, here was a psychological drama of tragic intensity, centring on a triangle of unrequited love. It also raised issues of belief, morality, gender, prejudice, ethnic conflict, power and corruption. Scott may have been drawing a parallel between the subjugated Saxons and his own nation, whereas I saw it as the foundation for the English class system. These are contemporary issues and not a nostalgic return to the past. In the meantime I had taught myself how to read music.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In order to reduce the complexity of the plot, and to concentrate on the central drama, I decided to dispense with the Robin Hood character along with his merry men, and also with Rowena who is the object of Ivanhoe&rsquo;s affections. Even so, the original score which I completed in 2000 was getting on for four hours long. Some of my friends from Charnwood Opera put on a performance of a small fragment of this with piano accompaniment in 2006, after which I had to renegotiate the unrealistically high tessitura of the soprano and tenor parts. The production you will hear has been cut to manageable proportions mainly by omitting the long orchestral preludes and interludes, though Bois-Guilbert has been denied the chance to explain at length why he is not such a bad person as we might have thought (he was jilted if you want to know). Finally, I decided to allocate the roles of Prince John and the Grand Master of the Temple to a soprano, rather than a tenor. This gives a better balance of voices and, perhaps, an appropriate satirical note. Both characters are portrayed as ineffective, though they are trying to be real men, which reminds me of Cherubino, the &lsquo;trouser&rsquo; role in <i>The Marriage of Figaro.</i> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The music has been described as sounding mediaeval, perhaps because I often use bare-sounding chords which miss out the middle part of the triad, in order to create ambiguity and unease. The first scene was actually influenced by Baroque techniques which, I think, injects a bit of humour. My thirty year old themes never became arias, but they did provide repeated motifs which I used mainly to denote psychological states, like love, fear, derision or wanting revenge. Psychological disharmony is also represented by dissonance in the music. The themes evolve and combine in a Wagnerian way, though I think the resemblance ends there. My other main influence is folk and blues, which shows itself in bass riffs, modes and pentatonic scales.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Semi-staging the opera enables the singers to have the score available, which has helped them to realise this brand new work amidst their many other commitments. I think it may also help the drama, as fake-looking armour and stage sets might be distracting. We do not have an orchestra pit, which is challenging for the singers standing on the same level as the instruments. Our sound engineer will be able to compensate, on the recording, for different levels through the microphones, but there is no amplification of the voices in the auditorium. We will do our best to make the words audible, but I recommend that you study the synopsis of each scene carefully, in order to keep in touch with what is happening. If the recording is a success, the libretto will be made available at the same time as the CDs.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>SYNOPSIS</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>ACT ONE: ASHBY DE LA ZOUCH </b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">In 1194, Richard 1 <i>Coeur de Lion</i> was supposed to have been imprisoned in Bohemia, on his way back from the Crusade. However, there was a rumour that he had been freed and had even arrived back secretly in England.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">During his brother&rsquo;s absence, Prince John had been bolstering his position with the barons and even with influential Saxons. To this end he held a tournament at Ashby de la Zouch, followed by a banquet at Ashby castle.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">All the Norman knights were unexpectedly defeated at the jousting by a stranger, whose shield displayed an uprooted tree, meaning &lsquo;disinherited&rsquo;. Later, during the mock battle, one of the Normans took revenge by wounding the disinherited knight with an illegally sharpened lance. He was saved from further harm by the intervention of another knight, in plain black armour, who made off into the forest before he could be identified.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Nevertheless, the disinherited knight was awarded the victor&rsquo;s crown for the whole tournament, a trophy which he proceeded to deposit at the feet of the Saxon Princess Rowena, after which he collapsed from his wound. The marshals having removed his helmet, the knight was identified as Wilfred of Ivanhoe, son of Cedric the Saxon Thane.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Cedric had disinherited his son for two reasons, both connected with his refusal to accept the legitimacy of the Norman rulers: firstly because Wilfred had effectively become a Norman knight and a prot&eacute;g&eacute; of <i>Coeur de Lion</i>; secondly because he aspired to marry Rowena, who was his father&rsquo;s ward, and Cedric had other plans for her.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The possibility of a disputed throne or even civil war was an opportunity, in Cedric&rsquo;s eyes, to restore Saxon rule.&nbsp; His candidate for king, and also husband for Rowena, was Athelstane, an amiable but not very clever Saxon prince.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">More than a century after the battle of Hastings, there was little sign of integration of the Normans and Saxons, the former being very much overlords, who looked down on the very different customs and behaviour of the people they had conquered. Thus the mixture of Prince John&rsquo;s entourage with Saxon dignitaries, at the banquet was an uneasy one. &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE ONE: The Great Hall, Ashby Castle</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Philip de Malvoisin: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; John Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Maurice de Bracey: a mercenary knight &ndash; Ian Rogerson</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Waldemar Fitzurse: a knight, advisor to Prince John &ndash; Martin Vindelis</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Athelstane: a Saxon Prince descended from Alfred the Great &ndash; Stephen Foster</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Cedric: a Saxon Thane, father of Ivanhoe &ndash; Chris Higgins</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Prince John: Rachel-Louise Stonehouse</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">[NB. <i>Karum Pie</i> contains exotic small birds; one of the ingredients, <i>Beccafico,</i> is the Ortolan Bunting &ndash; a variety of finch rarely seen in this country; <i>Nidering</i> is an old English word meaning &lsquo;despicable&rsquo;, in the context used by Cedric.]</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Prince John&rsquo;s banquet is in full swing. The Saxons are in long mantles, considered unfashionable by the Normans in their short cloaks. Athelstane happily devours whatever is put in front of him, whilst Cedric is alert and suspicious. The Normans are finding it hard not to laugh out loud.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The Normans make fun of Athelstane, by asking him to identify the ingredients of the exotic bird pie (nightingales and beccaficoes), which he fails to do. Cedric becomes angry, when he realises that Athelstane is being humiliated, but Fitzurse tries to calm the situation by changing the topic of conversation to the recent tournament.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The Normans refer to the victories of the Saxon knight, his wounding, and the intervention of the Black Knight. They recall everyone&rsquo;s surprise to discover the true identity of the former: Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Cedric&rsquo;s son. Reference is made to Ivanhoe&rsquo;s previous victory over Bois-Guilbert, at a tournament in Palestine. Bois-Guilbert swears to have revenge at a third meeting.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Prince John proposes a toast to Ivanhoe, but Cedric refuses to acknowledge him as a son, because of what he terms &lsquo;disobedience&rsquo;. Prince John attempts to save face by making fun of the Saxons&rsquo; clothes, after which the mockery extends to eating and drinking habits, and finally to their defeat at the battle of Hastings in 1066. &nbsp;Cedric, now beside himself with rage, points out that a Saxon&rsquo;s code of honour would not allow guests to be insulted at his table, also that the Norman knights have all recently been defeated, at the tournament, by a Saxon. The Normans respond with further jibes and Fitzurse tries to restore order by appealing to Prince John to say that no insult was intended. The latter agrees, and proposes a toast to Cedric, followed by another to Athelstane. He then suggests to Cedric that he might toast one of the Normans, and the knights attempt to induce him to name Prince John. After acknowledging that he is in a difficult position, as a member of a subject race, Cedric duly proposes a toast to Richard the Lionheart. Prince John is thunderstruck and takes it as a supreme insult, though Cedric is perfectly correct to express loyalty to the legitimate sovereign. The Saxons leave with their dignity intact and Prince John blames his advisor for the humiliation.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE TWO: A room in the Ashby house of Isaac of York</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Wilfred of Ivanhoe &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Isaac is a wealthy Jew who has been lending money to Prince John, and who has previously been defended against robbers by Ivanhoe. His daughter, Rebecca, a skilled herbalist, has taken charge of the seriously wounded knight who has been drifting in and out of consciousness. He wakes up on a couch, not knowing where he is, nor who has been caring for him. Ivanhoe finds that he is being tended by a beautiful woman, though his attitude changes when she reveals that she is a Jewess. Rebecca explains that she is Isaac&rsquo;s daughter, and that her father is beholden to him for what he has done. Ivanhoe asks why he could not have been taken to a Saxon establishment and Rebecca explains that he needs her special skills to heal his wound.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">He is anxious to know how soon he will be able to bear armour again, because he is aware of the unstable situation in England. She tells him &lsquo;eight days&rsquo;. He offers to pay money, if she can keep her word, but she says that no reward is necessary. All she wants is for him to accept that Jews are capable of doing kindness to Christians, since they worship the same God.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca advises him that Prince John and his party have left for York, and that he is rumoured to be on the point of seizing the crown. Ivanhoe pledges his willingness to fight against this eventuality, but Rebecca reminds him that he must follow her instructions, and not get upset, to have any chance of a swift recovery. In answer to his questions about Cedric and his household, she tells him that they have set out for Cedric&rsquo;s estate, and that Rowena has gone with them. Rebecca begins to betray her feelings for Ivanhoe, at the mention of this name. Ivanhoe is also embarrassed to have shown excessive interest in his father&rsquo;s ward. Rebecca changes the subject by talking about Gurth, Ivanhoe&rsquo;s squire, who is now in trouble with Cedric, and to whom she gave some money after Ivanhoe had helped Isaac. Ivanhoe now considers it a point of honour that the money should be repaid, but she insists that the discussion should be postponed till he is fit.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Ivanhoe now bemoans his own misfortune and his perception that the same will afflict anyone with whom he associates. Rebecca replies that this is illness talking, and that he should have faith in God and his own destiny in relation to the country&rsquo;s hour of need. He pulls himself together and she informs him that he must gather his strength for a journey (to Doncaster, with Isaac&rsquo;s household) the next day.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">ACT TWO: TORQUILSTONE CASTLE</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Cedric&rsquo;s party set off from Ashby towards his estate at Rotherwood. During their journey through the forest, they came upon Isaac and his people, who had been traveling in the direction of Doncaster, but who had been let down by hired men, who had stolen their horses. The Saxons agreed to help by harnessing their own horses to the cart carrying a sick man.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">In the heart of the forest, the travelers were ambushed and overpowered by Norman knights, disguised as outlaws. They were taken to the castle belonging to Reginald Front de Boeuf, where the knights planned to press their attentions on Rowena and Rebecca.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE ONE: A room in the top of one of the turrets</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Heavy steps are heard, coming up the staircase. These are followed by ferocious knocking on the door, which opens to admit a tall stranger with a mantle covering his face. Rebecca shrinks back in alarm. Confined by herself in the room, she is frightened by the entrance of Bois-Guilbert in disguise. She offers him jewellery in exchange for mercy to her father and herself, but the knight makes it clear that he wants another kind of reward.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">She guesses that he is really a Norman knight, not an outlaw, and she points out that Christians and Jews are not allowed to be married. He replies that the Knights Templar are not allowed to marry anyone, but they are permitted to have concubines. She protests that this is against Christian teaching and that he is being hypocritical, but he insists that the privilege is justified by the example of Solomon, who founded the Temple.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">In the face of her scorn, Bois-Guilbert changes his approach and gives notice that he intends to take her by force. She reacts by stepping onto the parapet, and offering to throw herself from the height, rather than submit to his will. The Templar realises that he is defeated and takes back his threat; he also promises to protect her father. After he swears this on his honour, Rebecca steps down. Bois-Guilbert begins to explain that she has seen him in a misleadingly bad light, but is interrupted by a trumpet call to arms. He leaves hurriedly, but promises to renew the conversation later.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE TWO: A room, with an outside window, in the castle wall</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Wilfred of Ivanhoe &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>The Black Knight: Stephen Foster</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The castle is found to be besieged by a band of outlaws, most of whom are archers, led by Locksley and the Black Knight. The Normans have scarcely enough men to man the walls, let alone guard their prisoners.&nbsp; </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca has been returned to the room containing the sick man, so that she can continue to be a nurse. Ivanhoe wakes up on his litter, as she enters. He thanks Rebecca for her attentions, but makes it clear that he is more concerned with the welfare of Cedric and Rowena, and with anxiety to know what is happening in the battle. She offers to watch from the window and report events to him. He expresses concern for her safety, but Rebecca, reflecting bitterly on her hopeless love, fancies that she would welcome death. However, she agrees to shelter behind a large shield.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The besiegers appear to be led by the Black Knight. They advance under the cover of a hail of arrows and break down wooden barriers at the barbican. Soon the castle is burning. Ivanhoe advises Rebecca to escape, but she refuses to leave him. Suddenly she remembers her father, Isaac. At this point, Bois-Guilbert bursts in and offers her safe passage, under his protection. She refuses and asks him to save the sick knight and her father. He makes a scornful reply and carries her off by force, despite Ivanhoe&rsquo;s loud protests. Finally, the Black Knight arrives and helps Ivanhoe to escape.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>ACT THREE: THE PRECEPTORY AT TEMPLESTOWE</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">All the prisoners at Torquilstone Castle, were rescued unharmed, with the exception of Rebecca, who was borne away to the headquarters of the Knights Templar, where Bois-Guilbert kept her confined in secret. Soon, however, she was discovered by the authorities and accused of using witchcraft to ensnare one of the senior members of the order.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE ONE: The Great Hall</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Lucas de Beaumanoir: Grand Master of the Temple &ndash; Rachel-Louise Stonehouse</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Herman of Goodalricke: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; Stephen Foster </b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Philip de Malvoisin: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; John Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Higg, son of Snell: a peasant &ndash; Martin Vindelis</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>A soldier: Chris Higgins</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Lucas de Beaumanoir, Grand Master of the Temple, occupies the central position, surrounded by his officers, and holding the mystic staff or <i>batoon</i> which bears the symbol of the order. He reads the charges against Rebecca and Bois-Guilbert, suggesting that the latter&rsquo;s actions are due to having been bewitched. He asks him to respond, but gets no answer. Eventually Bois-Guilbert retorts that he has fought for Christendom, and is prepared to defend his honour with his sword. </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Witnesses are then called: the first is a peasant who claims to have been cured of lameness by an ointment supplied by Rebecca; the container is found to bear an enigmatic message in Hebrew. The second is a soldier who swears that he saw her extract an arrow from a wounded man, without touching it; he also claims to have seen the accused change shape and fly round the castle. </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca now calls on Bois-Guilbert to state that the charges are false. His only reply is to draw attention to a scroll which he has thrust into her hand. She looks quickly, before hiding it. The Grand Master concludes that this is further evidence of witchcraft. Rebecca now makes her plea for trial by combat, as the she has been advised in the scroll, by Bois-Guilbert..</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE TWO: A dungeon</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca&rsquo;s plea for trial by combat has been accepted and the Grand Master has appointed Bois-Guilbert, against his wishes, as the champion of the Temple. Full of misgivings, she finds no alternative but to send a message about her situation to Ivanhoe. Rebecca is alone in her cell, lost in thought. She is disturbed by Bois-Guilbert&rsquo;s knocking on the door. He describes the horrors of being burnt at the stake, and denies that he is responsible for this outcome; his intention was to have appeared in disguise as her champion, on the assumption that one of the younger knights would have been appointed on behalf of the Temple.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">He insists that he can still save her, if he gives up his position as a senior knight of the Temple, but he will demand conditions. If he is forced to appear in combat, his honour will not allow him to avoid it. However, if she will agree to go with him, they can escape together to another country.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca will not agree under any circumstances and Bois-Guilbert sees this. Finally he asks for her forgiveness. She replies that, though he is a flawed character, he is not all bad, and she does forgive him.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>SCENE THREE: The tilt-yard</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Philip de Malvoisin: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; John Middleton</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Lucas de Beaumanoir: Grand Master of the Temple &ndash; Rachel-Louise Stonehouse</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Rebecca: daughter of Isaac of York &ndash; Clare Proctor</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Brian de Bois-Guilbert: Knight Preceptor of the Temple &ndash; David Henshaw</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Wilfred of Ivanhoe &ndash; Lyndon Gardner</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>The Black Knight: Stephen Foster</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Henry de Bohun: Lord High Constable &ndash; Ian Rogerson</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Isaac of York &ndash; Chris Higgins</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Rebecca is tied to a stake at one end of the space, opposite to the Grand Master and his entourage, with Bois-Guilbert in full armour. He stands ready as the champion of the Temple, but no challenger has appeared to defend Rebecca&rsquo;s cause. The Grand Master agrees that her execution should be delayed until sunset. Bois-Guilbert makes a final offer to carry her away on his horse, but she refuses.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">Eventually, a knight appears in the lists, but he appears to be exhausted. He is none other than Wilfred of Ivanhoe. Bois-Guilbert, bound by his code of honour, refuses to fight him until he is in a fit state. However, consumed with rage and guilt, he is forced to do battle when Ivanhoe calls him a coward. Rebecca accepts Ivanhoe as her champion, despite her fears for his safety, in view of his recent wound and fatigue. During the encounter, Bois-Guilbert falls and is found to have died suddenly, without being wounded. The Grand Master has no choice but to accept this as an act of God, and proof of Rebecca&rsquo;s innocence.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">The Black Knight arrives, with his men, and orders the arrest of Malvoisin, who is one of Prince John&rsquo;s co-conspirators. The former reveals his identity: Richard <i>Coeur de Lion</i>. Rebecca is reunited with her father, Isaac, who advises her to approach Ivanhoe to express her gratitude. She is unwilling to do this, because she knows that he loves Rowena, and does not want to reveal her own feelings. She distracts her father&rsquo;s attention by pointing out the King&rsquo;s presence. He interprets this as meaning a business opportunity, i.e. to lend money to the sovereign.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>Postscript:</b> In due course, Ivanhoe marries Rowena and they have a long and happy life together. Rebecca leaves England and devotes her life to works of charity. Prince John does not have to wait much longer to succeed to the throne.&nbsp; Malvoisin, on the other hand, is executed for treason.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>CD recording of the performance:</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>e-mail <a href="mailto:john.brinks@talktalk.net">john.brinks@talktalk.net</a> to express an interest</b> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp; </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify"><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=48 John Middleton Sound production from computer notation software - John Middleton http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=75 <p><strong>I use </strong><a href="http://www.pcomposer.com"><strong>Personal Composer for Windows v3</strong></a><strong>. It is cheaper and less sophisticated than Sibelius, but i am used to it now. When I started doing this, PCs would not run large beasts like Sibelius.</strong></p> <p><strong>After doing the main dynamics and tempos, I export as a </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI"><strong>MIDI</strong></a><strong> file, which can be dragged onto the </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_workstation"><strong>Digital Audio Work Station</strong></a><strong> (DAW). The one I use is </strong><a href="http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/acidpro"><strong>Acid Pro 7</strong></a><strong>. Although it resets the tempo and key, they can both be restored. The key changes are easy, because all that is required is for me to reset the initial key, after which the original key changes in the rest of the score are preserved. Unfortunately, all the tempo changes must be put back in manually. It doesn t take too long with the score open at the same time.</strong></p> <p><strong>First, I set the pan percentages for each instrument and adjust relative volumes on the multichannel console. Now comes the exciting bit!</strong></p> <p><strong>Volume envelopes are inserted for each instrument and drawn as graphs throughout the performance. The points on the graph are used to change the volume for each instrument at each significant moment in the piece, and also to give the effect of playing phrases in an arc. This part is like conducting an orchestra in slow motion, or even more like rehearsing an orchestra - it is painstaking, but well worthwhile.</strong></p> <p><strong>The instruments I use are from the </strong><a href="http://www.sibelius.com/products/sibelius_sounds/personal_orchestra.html"><strong>Garritan Personal Orchestra</strong></a><strong>, which sound great when you have learned a little about how to make them work. It attaches to Acid pro 7 as a virtual instrument and can be selected for all the tracks.</strong></p> <p><strong>Finally, I render the Acid file to </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAV"><strong>.wav</strong></a><strong> and transfer to </strong><a href="http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/soundforgesoftware"><strong>Sound Forge</strong></a><strong>. I use this to adjust overall volumes, fading and reverb.</strong></p> <p><strong>It is possible to combine vocal parts with the orchestral .wav file on </strong><a href="http://audacity.sourceforge.net"><strong>Audacity</strong></a><strong> (which is available as a free download.</strong></p> <p><strong>There is much more to learn about this subject, I know, but the results so far seem good.</strong></p> GMT http://www.composersalliance.com/composers/blog.cfm?blog=75