Week 6  Shakespeare and Music

 

We focus on the work of William Shakespeare and how his plays and poems have influenced composers.  Artistic Director of Changeling Theatre Company, Rob Forknall, is joined by the company’s new Musical Director, Albert Graver, to talk about how they are coping with the challenges for artists at this time and how they are planning their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to come to Deal in July 2021.

 

Writer and broadcaster Christopher Cook puts Shakespeare’s work in context and gives specific examples of settings: Verdi’s and Richard Strauss’ contrasting approaches to Macbeth, Elgar’s, Vaughan-Williams’ and Holst’s differing ways of characterising Falstaff and how Roger Quilter simply but poignantly sets Shakespeare’s words to ‘Come Away Death’.

 

Artistic Director of Changeling Theatre Company, Rob Forknall, is joined by the company’s new Musical Director, Albert Graver, to talk about how they are coping with the challenges for artists at this time and how they are planning their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to come to Deal in July 2021.

 

About the contributors:

Christopher Cook, Deal Music & Arts Chair Elect, is a well-known writer and broadcaster whose voice will be familiar to many. He began his career in television, producing for BBC-2 and Channel 4. He continues to broadcast regularly on BBC Radios 3, 4, 5 and the BBC World Service.

 

Christopher is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine and International Record Review and has written for The Gramophone. He chairs pre-concert events for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Study Evenings at the Royal Opera House where he also interviews for their ‘Meet the…’ programmes and Glyndebourne Opera. He has curated several years of pre-performance talks at English National Opera.

 

Christopher was the Director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature in 2004 and was Chair of the Cheltenham International Music Festival until 2013. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Trustees of the Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London. He is also a walking encyclopaedia of the arts!

 

Rob Forknall is a distinguished performer and director who has directed numerous productions since founding his very first theatre company ENR in 1987 when he was just 18. He directs every Changeling show, together with annual winter pantomimes for Blue Genie Productions and New World.

 

He is also an accomplished actor. Rob has recorded mini-series for Channel 4, has played Noel Coward in Making Dickie Happy, including a special performance for HRH Prince William at Banqueting House. Rob has appeared in TV roles in Doctor Who, The Green Green Grass, Sense And Sensibility, The Impressions Show (as David Furnish) and many TV commercials.

 

Albert Graver was Changelings 2019 ‘Rookie’, playing the Young Shepherd in The Winter’s Tale and Dryden in Nell Gwynn. His musical talent was such that our previous Composer in residence, Alex Scott, thought he should pass the baton. This is his first year in this role, following on from Grant Olding and Dougal Irvine. Albert had a burning passion for theatre from an early age; he was a student at Corona Theatre and then The Brit School before attending and graduating from Mountview.

 

In recent years Albert has worked on various interpretations of Shakespeare’s works, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Richard Cant and Pericles directed by musicality specialists, David Hewson and John Ward. His most recent role was as an actor-musician in Kneehigh’s production of Dead Dog In A Suitcase.

 

These films were made during the lockdown period of Covid 19 as a resource for Deal Music & Arts' audience.

 

Because of the nature of Christopher’s talk, we give a Playlist available on Spotify.  You need not pay for a Spotify account to hear this list, but you may need to sign up to the platform.  If you listen on a computer, the music will play in the order of Christopher’s talk.  If you listen on a mobile phone, that order may vary.

Christopher Cook

talks about Shakespeare & Music

Spotify Playlist Shakespeare & Music directly relating to Christopher’s talk

Rob Forknall and Albert Graver ‘In Conversation’

Henry Purcell Suite from ‘The Fairie Queen’

played at Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus by Pekka Kuusisto and Ilya Gringolts (violins), James Boyd (viola), Nicolas Altstaedt (violoncello), Jonathan Cohen (harpsichord), Knut Erik Sundquist (double bass) and Johannes Fischer (percussion)

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