Lord Byron
Composer: Virgil Thomson
Librettist: Jack Larson
Other Artistic Personnel: John Houseman, Director; Gerhard Samuel, Conductor; Alvin Ailey, Coreographer
Original Cast: Original cast: Lord Byron, Grayson Hirst; Thomas Moore, Lenus Carlson; John Hobhouse, Walter Hook; John Murray, Frederick Schoepflin; Count Gamba, Frederick Burchinall; John Ireland, David Wilder; Augusta Leigh, Carolyn Val-Schmidt; Lady Byron, Lynne Wickenden; Countess Guiccioli, Hari Katz; Lady Melbourne, Barrie Smith
Premiere Date: April 20, 1972
Producing Company: Juilliard Theater, Lincoln Center
Description: Set in London in 1824, the work begins with Dean Ireland's refusal to allow Byron a burial in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Using the poet's denied burial as a framework for the piece, the work deals with significant episodes in Byron's life and introduces the three women who played pivotal roles in it: his wife, Annabella; his half-sister, Augusta Leigh; and his mistress, Countess Teresa Guiccioli. The opera is partly a series of flashbacks about Byron's scandalous sex life and partly about his friends' decision to burn the memoirs he sent to Thomas Moore.
Reviews: The Wall Street Journal, Mark Swed, 9-18-91; The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 2-24-86; The New York Times, John Rockwell, 12-9-85; The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 1-17-77; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 4-22-72; The New York Times, Allen Hughes, 4-16-72; The New York Times, John Gruen, 4-9-72; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 3-21-71; The New York Times, Allen Hughes, 11-28-65 (interview)
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Chorus: SATB chorus; male madrigal group of 6; boy's chorus
Orchestration: 2 fl(picc), 2 ob(Eng horn), 2 cl(bcl), 2 bsn - 4 hrn, 3 tpt, 2 tbn, tba - timp, perc, hp, org (off stage) - str
Musical Style: Tonal; lyrical; masterfully-written concerted music, duets, and trios; clear, spare orchestration of unmixed colors with an interplay of verbal and musical rhythms that is both intricate and subtle; minimalist use of small, well-crafted melodic cells
Contact: Peermusic Classical
E-mail Address: PeerClassical@Peermusic.com
Phone: 212-265-3910, x. 17
Publisher Web Site: http://www.peermusicclassical.com
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