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A precious HD snippet FROM THE ACTUAL PREMIERE of Rufus Wainwright’s opera “HADRIAN” – featuring my lyre theme, “HYMN TO ZEUS”!
Rufus beautifully orchestrated my lyre theme, in both this dreamy scene (Act 2 Scene 4; when Hadrian relives meeting his lover, Antinous) & later, in Act 3 Scene 8; when Hadrian finally learns the truth of how Antinous met his death – Act 3 Scene 8 can be heard from the link below, from a recording of the premiere on CBC Radio:
The full story of my collaboration with Rufus Wainwright and the main inspiration of my ancient-themed lyre music can be found in “The Globe and Mail”:
On 27th April 2017, I was contacted by Cori Ellison, who is serving on behalf of Canadian Opera in Toronto as the dramaturg for the production of ‘Hadrian’:
“Mr. Wainwright has become acquainted with your work, particularly the ‘Hymn to Zeus’, and would very much like to incorporate a few musical quotations from that piece and perhaps some others in his opera. Might you be amenable to that?”
A telephone conference was arranged between myself, Rufus and Cori on 25th May 2017, whilst Rufus was still on tour in Bergen! During the course of the conversation, Rufus told me he particularly liked my composition, “Hymn to Zeus” (track 3 from my 2010 independently released album, “Apollo’s Lyre”) which he described in our telephone conference as “…a really beautiful melody”.
“Hymn to Zeus” is a piece composed for lyre, in the intense ancient Greek Dorian Mode; the equivalent intervals as E-E on the white notes of the piano (and misnamed the “Phrygian” mode by scholars in the early Middle Ages). This was also the favourite musical mode of Plato himself, who thought the Dorian mode was the only mode of true moral worth. It has a distinctively introspective and haunting meditative quality:
How I finally managed to acquire this video footage was almost like divine intervention from Antinous himself! After learning the awful truth that my laptop screen capture app miserably failed to record the one-off “Watch Party” livestream of the premiere & after pleading on Twitter, if anyone else out there had recorded the one-off livestream of the opera, I was contacted by an actual latter-day Priest from Brazil’s First Temple of Antinous…who finally enabled me to see the opera; almost 2 years after the premiere in Toronto!!! The best things in life, are certainly those worth waiting for…
As an independent artist, to find one of my own compositions featured in such an epic-scaled production as “Hadrian” truly feels to me, like a ‘Libation to Apollo’ – in my efforts to bring his long-forgotten lyres and ancient musical magic, back to life in the 21st century and beyond!
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