Composer: DAVID BLAKE
David Blake was born in London in 1936. He read music at Cambridge, where his teachers included Patrick Hadley and Peter Tranchell. In 1960 he was awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship and studied with Hanns Eisler in East Berlin. After three years as a school teacher, during which time he composed a highly successful schools musical It’s a Small War (OUP), he moved to the new University of York as its first Granada Arts Fellow. In 1964 he was a founder member with Wilfrid Mellers and Peter Aston of the York Department of Music. He was made Professor in 1976 and Head of Department from 1980-1983. He retired in 2001. David Blake’s first commission was from the York Festival for his Chamber Symphony (1966) and subsequent important ones were from English National Opera for two operas — Toussaint (1976) and The Plumber’s Gift (1988); from the Leeds Festival Lumina (1969); from the BBC for two concertos — for violin (Proms) and for cello (Cheltenham Festival 1993) — and for Rise Dove (1983). He is also published by OUP, Schott and Novello.
“One of the hallmarks of Blake’s rich and varied output has been its consistent commitment to high technical standards and beliefs which are fundamental to his ethos as an artist, and which transcend passing trends… David Blake is an example of an increasingly rare breed of creator; he has a technical range and command covering every aspect of composition; he is one of the very few contemporary composers who still write powerfully expressive counterpoint and his melodic invention, ability to characterise musical ideas and his gift for music drama combine to make him a very complete artist…” Robert Saxton
Librettist & Director: KEITH WARNER
Keith Warner was born in London and studied English and Drama at Bristol Univrtsity. He has directed over 150 Operas, Plays and Musicals in 15 countries. Of particular note are productions of LOHENGRIN in Bayreuth, WOZZECK at the ROH Covent Garden (Olivier Award for Best Opera Production) and two Different Roductions of Wagner’s RING CYCLE at Covent Garden (also filmed for BBC 2) and in Tokyo. Rossini’s MOSES, Dargomyshky’s “THE STONE GUEST”, Sondheim’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, Massenet’s WERTHER, Puccini’s TOSCA and MANON LESCAUT at ENO, where he was Associate Director from 1981 – 1989. MY FAIR LADY in Houston, followed by a US tour. DON GIOVANNI in Vienna, and Bloch’s MACBETH, Reimann’s LEAR and most recently the German Premiere of Ades’s THE TEMPEST with Frankfurt Opera. He is currently in the middle of a cycle of operas based on the FAUST legend at the Semper Oper in Dresden, where he goes next to do the Gounod version. He has also done several world premiere pieces in both the USA and in the UK. He has written a play , “THE DAUGHTER”, and has just completed a second, “THOSE WHO RETURN”; he writes articles and lectures on theatre, especially on Wagner, and teaches acting widely worldwide. Future plans include: TOSCA at the Savonlinna festival, ANDREA CHENIER on the lake stage in Bregenz, THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA and MATHIS DER MAHLER in Vienna, Pizetti’s MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAl, THE GAMBLER and STREET SCENE in Frankfurt, a completely new version, being made by the composer, of Pendecki’s THE DEVILS in Warsaw with Lionel Friend conducting, and a further three cycles of the RING at Covent Garden in 2012.
Conductor: LIONEL FRIEND
A distinguished figure in both the opera house and on the concert platform, Lionel Friend has recently made debuts with Opera Australia (Arabella) and Los Angeles Opera (Grendel). This season began with Martinu and Elgar, and an orchestral Wagner programme follows with Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. Later this season, after the premiere production of David Blake’s Scoring a Century, he will make his New Zealand debut in a production of Le nozze di Figaro. Lionel Friend was educated at the Royal College of Music in London, where he won all the major conducting prizes. Following private study with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt and Sir Colin Davis, he made his début in 1969 conducting La traviata with Welsh National Opera and until 1972 was also conductor and chorus-master for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera, specialising in Mozart. For the next three years he was Kapellmeister at the Staatstheater in Kassel, Germany. On returning to the UK, Lionel Friend held the position of Staff Conductor to English National Opera from 1976 to 1989, conducting more than thirty different productions, including the world première of David Blake’s The Plumber’s Gift and working with such producers as Jonathan Miller, Joachim Herz, Götz Friedrich, Harry Kupfer, Richard Jones, Keith Warner and Graham Vick. For two years he was part of Daniel Barenboim’s team for The Ring at the Bayreuth Festival and in 1992 also acted as his assistant with the Chicago Symphony in a major Mozart project. Until 1996, he was Music Director of New Sussex Opera. As Music Director of Nexus Opera, he prepared a highly praised Curlew River (Britten) for the Bath Festival and subsequent BBC Television broadcasts and a Prom in the Royal Albert Hall. He has conducted opera for BBC Radio (including three further world premières), the Aldeburgh Festival, Radio France, Queen’s Festival (Belfast), Netherlands Opera and Opera Northern Ireland. In 1994 Lionel Friend made his début at La Monnaie in Brussels, in charge of the European première of Jonathan Harvey’s Inquest of Love. For Portland Opera he has conducted Bizet’s Pearl Fishers. In addition to opera and ballet, Lionel Friend has also given concerts and recorded with many of Europe’s principal symphony orchestras and choruses, as well as all the BBC orchestras. Lionel Friend works regularly with students both in Britain and the US. In 2003 he was appointed Conductor-in-Residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Designer: JEREMY DAKER
Costume Designer: NICKY SHAW
Nicky Shaw trained at West Sussex and West Surrey Colleges of Art & Design.
For Opera: ALCINA, Opera Theatre Company, Irish Tour; IOLANTA, Opera Holland Park; THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, IL VIAGGIO A REIMS, IL PRIGIONIERO & VOLO DI NOTTI and LA CENERENTOLA all for Frankfurt Opera (costumes); MEDEA, National Reisopera (costumes), Netherlands Tour; the sets for THE WORLD’S STAGE, a gala at the Royal Opera House; THE CORONATION OF POPPEA, Opera Theatre Company, Irish Tour, Buxton Festival and Aldeburgh Festival; LA CENERENTOLA, Opera Zuid, Netherlands Tour (costumes); MACBETH, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels (costumes); THE BARTERED BRIDE and DON GIOVANNI, both for Mid Wales Opera, UK Tours; SONGS OF LIPO, PHAEDRA & SAVITRI, Aldeburgh Festival; THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN and SEMELE, both for British Youth Opera, Queen Elizabeth Hall; LA RENCONTRE IMPRÉVUE, SUSANNA and COSI FAN TUTTE, all Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
For Theatre: PICASSO’S WOMEN, Seoul Festival, South Korea (new production); SOME PEOPLE I KNOW, (a new play by Ragnar Hovland) Teatergarasjen Bergen, Norway; the world premiere of the Musical DANCING SHADOWS in Seoul, South Korea (winner of five Korean Musical Awards, including Best Musical); PICASSO’S WOMEN, UK Tour, Hong Kong, Cork & Edinburgh Festivals; 3 ON A COUCH, King’s Head Theatre; THE LIFEBLOOD and BROKEN JOURNEY, both for The Hen & Chickens Theatre; ANYROAD and EATING RAOUL, both for The Bridewell Theatre; TAKE THE FIRE, Lyric Studio, Hammersmith; THE POWER OF DARKNESS, The Orange Tree Theatre; THE REVENGER’S TRAGEDY, The Orange Tree Room; LA NUIT DE VALOGNES and WOYZECK, both for The Other Place, RSC.
For Film & Television: THE ASSESSMENTS (Art Director & Costumes Designer, Short Film in production); THE SCORE, BBC 2 (Studio Set & Title Sequence); THE EMPRESS, Channel 4 (Associate Set Designer to artist Bruce McLean).
Nicky has also worked as a design consultant to fashion designer and businessman Jasper Conran.
Future Opera Projects: ALCINA, OTC’s revival for Buxton Festival; LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Polish National Opera, Warsaw; L’AMICO FRITZ, Opera Holland Park.
Future Theatre Projects: THE FANTASTICKS, Duchess Theatre.
Costume makers: ALAN & JENNET MARSHALL and their team, Pat and Bert
Lighting: John Bishop
Ernest Jedermann: Matthew Cooper (cover: Hedd Owen Griffiths)
Edith Jedermann: Lucie Louvrier (cover: Shira Lang)
Private: Ben Gillham
Sergeant: Joseph Kennedy
Nurse (Act 1): Anna Jeffers
Woodrow Wilson: Kristian Cleworth
Clemenceau: Mikael Onelius
Lloyd George: James Davies
Lenin: Ian MacFarlane
Manager: Debbie Oliver (spoken)
Jedermanns’ Son: Dale Harris (spoken)
Berthold: Henrik Lagercrantz
Studio Assistant: Hannah Nye (spoken)
Young Man: Ben Gillham (spoken)
Violinist: Joshua Takács (spoken)
Tartine: Francesca Saracino
Man in Nazi Uniform: Thomas Arnold-Haynes (spoken)
Gestapo Officer: Craig Jackson (spoken)
Father: Hedd Owen Griffiths
Mother: Fiona Krober/Shira Lang (alternating)
Station-Master: Timothy Elliott
Voice of Son: Dale Harris (spoken)
Kommissar: Andrea Tjäder (spoken)
American Chairman: Lee Beaumont
Soviet Prosecutor: Matthew Durkan
Girl in Jeans: Penny Appleyard
Old Man: Mitesh Khatri
Woman 1: Olivia Barry/Harriet Campbell (alternating)
Woman 2: Lianne Birkett/Georgina Stalbow (ditto)
Woman 3: Claire Lees/Roma Loukes (ditto)
Man: Matthew Cooper
Woman in Black: Andrea Pfenninger (spoken)
Hippie 1: Joe Kennedy (spoken)
Hippie 2: Stephanie Darkins (spoken)
Hippie 3: Yukimi Muta (spoken)
Hippie 4: Rosie Secker (spoken)
Mary Lou: Rachel Farr (spoken)
Stage Manager: Rose Mitchell (spoken)
Police Officer: Kay Standen (spoken)
African-American: Roberta Turner (spoken)
Nurse (Act 2): Amelia Burns (spoken)
Studio Producer: Austine Broad (spoken)
Engineer: Timothy Elliott (spoken)
Yuppie: Craig Jackson
Bennie Blumenkohl: Joseph Kennedy (spoken)
Evita: Rachel Bowden (spoken)
Chorus – as above plus Claire Barnett-Jones, Phillippa Cairns, Pei-Yu Kuo, and Stephanie McLean.
Desk 1 Amy Littlewood
Desk 2 Leonid Nikishin
Desk 1 Catalin Chelau
Desk 2 Tomasz Pajak
On-Stage Violin – Emily Tyrrell (part of trio)
Desk 1 Hannah Allen
Desk 1 Philip Handy
On-Stage Cello – Robert Jones (part of trio)
Desk 1 Ayse Osman
Yu Chen Chen
Flute / piccolo – Eleanor Lighton
Oboe / cor anglais – Daniel Finney
Clarinet 1 (Bb/A) doubling Alto Sax – Ben Graves
Clarinet 2 (Bb/A) doubling Bass Clarinet – Delyth Roberts
Bassoon – Clare Trim
Horn 1 – Lydia Walker
Horn 2 – Suzy Laker
Trumpet in Bb – Simon Crick
Trombone – Martyn Sanderson
Percussion 1 – Rachel Starmer
Percussion 2 – James Tranter
Piano (Pit) – Ben Kennedy
Guitar / Electric Guitar / Banjo – Paul Norman
Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF YORK MUSIC PRESS (UYMP)
World premiere performances by arrangement with UYMP.