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Edward and Richard: The True Story of the Princes in the Tower : a chamber opera in two acts

by Alexander Voltz (2020)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

A dear friend came to a concert of mine in 2018 and said he could really hear different characters in my music. He suggested I should write opera. I wish he had lived just that little bit longer to see I had taken his advice.

I began Edward and Richard in November 2018 after an earlier project (which hopefully I am able to revisit later) fell through. I cannot remember why I chose the Princes in the Tower as my subject matter. Late Medieval History has always fascinated me.

By July 2019, I had finished the libretto and begun the composition process. I sketched the overture in December 2018, and from this page of shorthand came a large part of the opera's thematic material. I wrote most of the music over the summer of 2019 and finished a first draft by late April 2020, two months after the deadline I had set myself. Owing to other projects that I was working on, everything took much longer than it should have. Which, in the end, turned out for the better. Edward and Richard developed simultaneously with my compositional style.

The opera should have premiered in July 2020, but was unable to due to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

For me, Edward and Richard is more a theatrical drama than it is an opera - that said, for the singers involved, it's very much an opera. It's psychological horror.

This being my largest project to date, I am extremely grateful for the support of those who - largely of their own generosity - brought Edward and Richard to life. In particular, my thanks go to Wayne Brennan, Michelle Carey, Susan Ellis, Stuart Quill and Bradley Voltz. My appreciation further extends to Nathen Amin, founder of the Henry Tudor Society, who confirmed my historical findings as both unique and not impossible.

And, of course, that dear friend: John Curro AM MBE, 1932-2019.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: 2 sopranos, narrator, flute (piccolo), clarinet (bass clarinet), percussion, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass.

Duration: 60 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: The opera is in two continuous acts, each of five scenes, separated by a postlude and an interlude. The work opens with an overture.

Dedication note: For Susan Ellis

First performance: at Edward and Richard: The True Story of the Princes in the Tower (The Trinity Centre, St Rita's College) on 8 Jul 2021

Performances of this work

8 Jul 2021: at Edward and Richard: The True Story of the Princes in the Tower (The Trinity Centre, St Rita's College).

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