Semper Dowland / The Corridor
by Harrison Birtwistle
Britten Studio, Snape, 12 June 2009
A double bill:
- Semper Dowland, semper dolens
- Theatre of melancholy. The passionate melancholy of Elizabethan master
John Dowland’s music is another of Birtwistle’s obsessions. In Semper Dowland,
semper dolens (‘always Dowland, always doleful’ was Dowland’s own, punning
description of himself), Birtwistle arranges Dowland’s Seven Teares Figured
in Seven Passionate Pavanes and interweaves them with Dowland songs.
- The Corridor
- A scena for soprano, tenor and six instruments (world premiere). The
Corridor freeze-frames the devastating moment when Orpheus turns to look
back at Eurydice as they leave the underworld and he loses her forever.
‘I’m obsessed with the myth of Orpheus’, says Birtwistle. ‘I see The Corridor
as a single moment from the Orpheus story magnified, like a photographic
blowup. I’ve thought of it as virtuosic, close-up chamber theatre, with
the Sinfonietta musicians in the action as well as the singers.’
Commissioned and produced by the Aldeburgh Festival and Southbank Centre, in
association with the London Sinfonietta and Bregenz Festival.
It played at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 17th July 2009 and 7 July 2009 before
travelling to the Bregenz Festival.
|libretto (The Corridor)
|set & costume designer
|video art and projection design
|Rachel Lopez de la Nieta