Based on J.M. Syngeâs 1907 play of the same name, Vaughan Williamsâ Riders to the Sea
is set in the Aran Islands and is his most moving and compelling opera. Elemental and hauntingly lyrical, the music communicates all the raw directness of a primitive myth. Running time 1hr 10mins. The evening begins with Sibeliusâs 1913 âtone poemâ Luonnotar (Nature Spirit) sung by Susan Gritton, part of a fifteen minute prologue for Riders to the Sea which also incorporates incidental music by composer John Woolrich, archive recording of Aran Islanderâs songs and film by artist Dorothy Cross. The prologue counters the bleakness of Syngeâs story with Sibeliusâs poem, the text of which is derived from an ancient Finnish epic, the Kavevala, and tells of the mythical creation of the earth and sky. The two polarities of creation and destruction are embodied by the figure of the Goddess in Luonnotar and the devastating power of the sea on Maurya and her family in Riders to the Sea. By combining both pieces in a single 60 minute arc, the evening will span the life cycle. Riders to the Sea
is presented in asociation with the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust and is supported by the English Opera Group and Culture Ireland.Performers Patricia Bardon (Maurya), Leigh Melrose (Bartley), Susan Gritton (Luonnotar).
Music Ralph Vaughan Williams. Corporate Sponsor skyARTS. Producer English National Opera. Conductor Edward Gardner. Director Fioina Shaw. Design Dorothy Cross. Design Tom Pye. Lighting Jean Kalman.