The visionary poet and painter William Blake inspired many composers, none more effectively than Benjamin Britten. This cycle, drawing a blazing picture of the innocence and injustice Blake saw around him, is staged John Savournin, with Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 finalist, Julien Van Mellaerts, accompanied by Ella O'Neill. Dimitri Shostakovich's brooding, passionate settings of Robert Burns, Shakespeare and Raleigh conceal the composer's deep feelings about life, caught as he was on the anvil of 1942, hammered by clashing totalitarian armies. Edward Hawkins (bass) is the voice of the man who awaits the reasonless midnight call of his killer, in a world in which beauty is crushed as soon as it is found. Accompanied by Sergey Rybin. Written in Armenia for the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, Britten's careful, astonishing setting of the Russian poet Pushkin are rarely performed. âWho hears the poet? Who is listening to my song?' as poet and composer. Directed by James Conway, Jenny Stafford is the soloist in this haunting work, sung in the original Russian, accompanied by Sergey Rybin.Performers Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone), Edward Hawkins (bass), Jenny Stafford (soprano), Ella O'Neill (piano), Sergey Rybin (piano).
Company English Touring Opera. Music Britten (Songs and Proverbs of William Blake). Music Shostakovich (Six Romances on Verses by British Poets). Music Britten (The Poet's Echo). Director John Savournin. Director James Conway.