The Day After with ENO
Choral Stage Works 24 May, 2017
A new choral version of Jonathan Dove’s opera The Day After premieres on Friday 26 May 2017 with the English National Opera and continues until 31 May as part of their ENO Studio Live series at Lilian Baylis House Directed by Jamie Manton, a regular ENO Staff Director, and conducted by James Henshaw, ENO’s Chorus Master, The Day After tells the story of Phaeton, son of the Greek Sun God Phoebus. Challenging his father to let him drive the chariot of the Sun, Phaeton fancies himself a God, but his youthful impetuousness leads to disaster and tragedy. The production features designs by Camilla Clarke, winner of the 2015 Linbury Prize for Stage Design. Visit the ENO website for tickets and further information
Our Revels Now Are Ended at the Last Night of the Proms
Choral Orchestra & Large Ensemble 8 September, 2016
A new enlarged version of Jonathan Dove’s Our revels Now are ended will receive its world premiere at the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10 September, closing the first half of the concert. This setting of Prospero’s words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was originally written in 2004 to mark the final performance of Musica Nel Chiostro, an opera festival that ran for thirty years in a mediaeval Tuscan monastery. Every summer, invited by impresario Adam Pollock, companies of mainly British singers would flock to the Convento di Santa Croce in Batignano to sing in Italian to a largely Italian-speaking audience, in repertoire ranging from early Baroque to specially-commissioned new works by Stephen Oliver and Jonathan Dove. At the Last Night of the Proms, there will be many more voices than in the first performance, and the orchestra has been somewhat enlarged by the composer. For more information, visit the BBC website
A Brief History of Creation
Choral Orchestra & Large Ensemble 20 June, 2016
Jonathan Dove’s A Brief History of Creation has premiered with the Hallé Children’s Choir and the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. The piece, which begins with an orchestral Big Bang, looks at the creation of the world from a scientific starting point and can perhaps be seen as a 21st century equivalent of Haydn’s Creation. The 13 sections – which include Stars, Earth, Rain and Dinosaurs – are scored beautifully to produce such evocative imagery as whale song in Whales Return to the Sea. To read the review from the Guardian, click here.
Seasons and Charms to Premiere
Choral 7 April, 2016
12 new songs written for Aldeburgh Music’s Friday Afternoons project, with lyrics by Alasdair Middleton, will be premiered by the NYCGB Boys Choir in the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on Sunday 10 April 2016. Jonathan says of the piece: “Alasdair’s brilliant words immediately suggested the mood and character and even the melodies of the songs. We were asked to write twelve songs, and thought of writing a song for each month of the year. There’s still a trace of that idea in Seasons & Charms, but the lyrics Alasdair eventually came up with are sparkier and more unpredictable. Some of the songs are about a particular time of the year, but there are also wishes and dreams and stories and touches of magic.” The London premiere of Antiphon follows in the main hall.
New Friday Afternoons songs
Choral Vocal 15 February, 2016
It has just announced that Jonathan will be writing a new set of songs for this year’s Friday Afternoons project, set to specially commissioned texts by Alasdair Middleton. These songs will be released in April, so keep an eye out on the Friday Afternoons website for more information (http://www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk). Scores, backing tracks and resources will be available on the website free of charge, to support learning of the songs. Friday Afternoons was conceived as part of the Centenary celebrations of Aldeburgh Music’s founder, the composer, Benjamin Britten, with the initial aim of encouraging children and young people to sing. Since 2013, there have been more than 70,000 participants, from all around the world. Aldeburgh Music is Now committed to commissioning new songs on an annual basis, creating a song bank of repertoire for children’s voices. For each of the songs, teachers and choir leaders will find all of the resources required to take part on the website, completely free of charge. These include scores, lyrics, audio tracks, interactive resources from Charanga Music, Braille scores and signed videos.