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  • Date: Sunday, 19 May 2013, 3pm
  • Venue: Glyndebourne's Organ Room — Glyndebourne, United Kingdom

Event Details

Glyndebourne’s Young Composer-in-Residence Luke Styles has written a new piece for violin, solo tenor, bass and female choir called Vanity.

Vanity came about through discussions with Glyndebourne about writing a new piece for the female members of the chorus, to give them a challenge while their male counterparts were working on Billy Budd. From this starting point the piece has evolved to include two male soloists, a Tenor and a Bass, indented to be drawn from the Jerwood Young Artists and a solo violinist, from the LPO.

Luke Styles says "With this line up of people I started to think about what kind of text might create a dynamic scenario that would then inspire music, specific for this group of singers. I had a number of writers I was keen to look at, but very quickly found myself drawn to Shakespeare. Firstly because I had never set any Shakespeare text and also because this year will see the production of Falstaff at Glyndebourne."

"I began reading some of the Shakespeare sonnets, which I had had an interest in specifically since 2008 when a newspaper article ran a feature on influential arts practitioners in the UK and their favourite sonnets. Upon reading through the sonnets and thinking about the people I would be writing for a natural duality between men and women began to arise. Also the themes of love, beauty and vanity."

"Being surrounded by opera intensively for the past 12 months, and also having watched the last series of the Apprentice and seeing men championing male grooming, the notion of male vanity jumped off the page at me. I decided it would be a great opportunity to explore the idea of male vanity, through Shakespeare’s sonnets, where the men are the vain ones, unable to see their aging bodies and to speak truth about love. Whereas the women sing the voice of reason, of love and beauty and how both it and we age and grow."

Vanity will be featured as a Festival Extra in the Organ Room on 19 May (3pm), 24 May (4.30pm) & 26 May (3pm), conducted by Jeremy Bines.

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website

Featured Australian Works

Digital sheet music sample Vanity : for tenor and baritone solo, SSAA choir and violin (2012) by Luke Styles — World premiere

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