when I waked, I cried to dream again.
William Shakespeare - The Tempest
Listen to Robert Cooper conduct Geraint Wyn-Davies (The Prologue), Johanne Ansell (The Angel), the Toronto Orpheus Choir and the Talisker Players in the stirring conclusion to Allan Bevan's No Mortal Business.
The Toronto Orpheus Choir will be presenting No Mortal Business on the 400th Anniversary date of the Bard's death. The concert is called Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On: The Lyrical Shakespeare, and it will take place at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, Toronto, on April 23, 2016. Geraint Wyn-Davies will play the part of the Prologue, while soprano Maeve Palmer will sing the role of the Angel. Tickets
The Richard Eaton Singers, Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, conductor, will be presenting No Mortal Business at the Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, on Sunday, March 13, 2016, 7:30pm in a concert entitled This Mortal Coil. Timothy Anderson will play the part of the Prologue in this performance and soprano Sarah Schaub will sing the role of the Angel of Death.
No Mortal Business is a thirty-minute musical and dramatic fantasy that broods upon Shakespeare’s last years as an actor/dramatist. It uses both spoken and sung text from The Tempest, and some of the author’s other dramas and his sonnets. In this work, these previously unrelated texts become the inner thoughts of Shakespeare speaking as if he is remembering all his most poignant characters at once. From Richard II to The Merchant of Venice and beyond, the Prologue emotes between the musical “Acts” in soliloquy-like passages, then soars above the singing of the chorus and the sound of the orchestra. He puts a voice to the hope, joy, fear, and disappointment that Shakespeare must have felt in a lifetime on the stage. Employing only the words of the Bard himself, No Mortal Business hovers between the Prologue’s inner and outer worlds. At times, he is confused, angry, compassionate, frightened, and profoundly human. His mind is tormented by the constant presence of his own characters, and though he seeks release from his creative turmoil, he is not yet ready to give them all up. In the meantime, the Angel of Death (soprano solo) calls him gently with the long-lost faith of his youth while the chorus bridges the divide between heaven and earth in singing both ancient plainsong and fresh new settings of Ariel's songs from The Tempest. In No Mortal Business the dramatic tension between Prologue, Soloist, Chorus and Orchestra unfolds in a dream-like cascade of Shakespearean sound and sense resulting in a powerful and moving vision of one of the world’s greatest creative figures. (See also "Shakespeare's 400th" elsewhere in this blog for further information on NMB.)