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Sheet Music: Score

Vanity : for tenor and baritone solo, SSAA choir and violin / Luke Styles ; text from Shakespeare.

by Luke Styles (2012)


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I began reading some of the Shakespeare sonnets, which I had had an interest in specifically since 2008 when a newspaper article (I can be specific if you like) 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, 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.

This is the world of my Vanity. Conflict between the projected and reality, moments of beauty, doubt and love.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (30p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 20 min.

Commissioned by Glyndebourne.

First performance at Vanity (Glyndebourne's Organ Room) on 19 May 2013

Text taken from Shakespeare's Sonnets 2, 18, 137, 138.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720158-07-5

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Analysis & Media

- Resonate Article: Insight: Macbeth, or how I came to compose operas

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