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The Circumnavigator : Great water rat race

by Fred Hill (1982)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Opera Mode, Raffæle Marcellino from the CD Selected compositions 1972-1990

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Selected compositions 1972-1990


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Selected compositions 1972-1990 / Freddie Hill

Library shelf no. CD 1971 [Available for loan]



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The circumnavigator : a chamber opera in 2 acts / words and music by Frederick Hill.

Library shelf no. Q 782.1/HIL 2 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (2 more)  

Work Overview

The giant shadow of Benjamin Britten was hard to escape at the time for anyone attempting opera in English. The parallels with Peter Grimes were noted by some observers. However in planning the vast psychological canvas I took care not to create obstacles to performance, using a reduced orchestra and chorus and a mostly accessible harmonic style, with some jazz and rock undertones.

Work Details

Year: 1982

Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, deep bass, spoken part, SATB choir, piano reduction.

Duration: 165 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Diana Lawrence (Wend)

Commission note: N/A

First performance: by Opera Mode, Raffæle Marcellino — 18 Jul 87. Elizabethan Trust Theatre, East Sydney

Recreation of a true incident in which a yachtsman enters a solo round-the-world race and disappears. Examination of the journals aboard his abandoned boat reveals that he has faked his log-books and lost contact with reality. The expectations of the other characters, including his wife, commit him to his fraudulent master-plan, which is not exposed until the end.

Performances of this work

18 Jul 87: Elizabethan Trust Theatre, East Sydney. Featuring Opera Mode, Raffæle Marcellino.

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