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Adcock’s artistic collaborations. Iris Dreaming: mini-opera with music by Gillian Whitehead, libretto by Fleur Adcock, soprano, Joanne Roughton-Arnold

Wilson, J. M. (2016) Adcock’s artistic collaborations. Iris Dreaming: mini-opera with music by Gillian Whitehead, libretto by Fleur Adcock, soprano, Joanne Roughton-Arnold. Other presented to: Fleur Adcock: A Symposium, University of Winchester, 21 May 2016. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Abstract: Fleur Adcock has enjoyed significant artistic collaborations with New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead. Their first, Hotspur (first performed in Durham in 1981 and published in 1986), is a musical version of a ballad about Henry Percy, the Hotspur of Shakespeare’s Richard II and Henry IV Part I, with monoprints by New Zealand artist Gretchen Albrecht. It was followed by the 1981-82 monodrama, Eleanor of Aquitaine, then settings for Katherine Mansfield’s texts in Out of this Nettle, Danger (1983), and an opera for Gillian’s students at the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, The King of the Other Country (1983). Later was Alice, a monodrama for mezzo and orchestra about Adcock’s great-aunt, Alice Adcock, performed by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002. This year comes Iris Dreaming, a mini opera for one voice about the celebrated New Zealand poet, Robin Hyde (the pseudonym for Iris Wilkinson) written for the New Zealand soprano, Joanne Roughton-Arnold. The UK premiere will be at the Grimeborn Opera Festival in August. This session will consist of a discussion between Fleur Adcock and Joanne Roughton–Arnold led by Janet Wilson (and including Gillian Whitehead’s comments) about the collaboration for Iris Dreaming, which began as an idea of Joanne’s, developed by Adcock in an inspired response to Hyde’s poetry, and the challenge of writing for soprano voice. The recent Adcock-Whitehead collaborations reveal a pattern common to many New Zealand artists, of finding a new creative space overseas, and the movements between England and New Zealand in Alice and Iris Dreaming point to the crossings, communications and ties with Great Britain that have marked New Zealand society from its colonial beginnings.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fleur Adcock, Gillian Whitehead, Joanne Roughton-Arnold, Iris Dreaming, Robin Hyde, New Zealand
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR8309 English literature: Provincial, local, etc. > PR9639.3 New Zealand literature
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature on music > ML47 Librettos. Texts. Scenarios
Creators: Wilson, Janet M
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: 21 May 2016
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Fleur Adcock: A Symposium
Event Dates: 21 May 2016
Event Location: University of Winchester
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
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