Purcell: The Fairy Queen
March 16 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm£15 – £20
The Fairy Queen, composed by Henry Purcell in 1692, is written in the form most popular with the audiences of the day – a play with substantial incidental music, with each of its five acts completed with an extended masque: a Restoration spectacular – following the huge success of Dioclesian and King Arthur. The libretto is an anonymous adaption of Shakespeare’s wedding comedy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Purcell did not set any of Shakespeare’s text to music; music was to be played as the audience took their seats and also to be played between the acts. The music for short masques in nearly every act, presented by Titania and Oberon, is subtly related to the action in the play and makes reference to King William and Queen Mary.
As in King Arthur the principal characters do not sing, unless they are supernatural, pastoral or drunk! Secondary characters sing to them, usually as entertainment, or as supernatural beings.
We shall need plenty of singers. There may be a chance to include some of the short solos and ensembles, especially where they lead straight in to a chorus. At the moment we cannot be more specific but if you are interested please contact Sheila Koch the organiser,saying whether you sing Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto or Counter Tenor, Tenor, Bass.
The orchestration is for 2 recorders, 2 oboes, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings and continuo. Pitch will be A-415.
John Hancorn is music director of various choral groups in the Sussex area and has directed performances of Bach, Monteverdi and Purcell, among others, for the Brighton Early Music Festival. John leads vocal workshops and masterclasses specialising in baroque repertoire, including regular visits to Early Music Fora and ‘Sing and Discover’ days with Richard Wigmore throughout the UK. He teaches at Trinity Laban College of Music, the University of Chichester, East Sussex Academy of Music and Lancing College. He directed chamber choir courses at Dartington for many years and is a tutor at AIMS International Music School. John was a popular tutor for Purcell’s King Arthur in 2017.
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