The Circumnavigator : Great water rat race
by Fred Hill (1982)
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Library shelf no. CD 1971 [Available for loan]
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Library shelf no. Q 782.1/HIL 2 [Available for loan]
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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.
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, deep bass, spoken part, SATB choir, piano reduction.
Duration: 165 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Diana Lawrence (Wend)
Commission note: N/A
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.
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