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Michael Hurd (1928-2006) - Two chamber operas: The Aspern Papers; The Night of the Wedding / Owen Gilhooly, Clare McCaldin, Louise Winter, Pippa Goss; Nicholas Morton. Simon Lepper, piano

Album Summary

>Hurd, Michael : The Aspern Papers, chamber opera
>Hurd, Michael : The Night of the Wedding, chamber opera
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Aspern Papers is an opera in three acts, from the novella by Henry James with a libretto by the composer (Ms. dated May 25, 1994). It is the year 1880. Harry Jordan, a handsome young American biographer, is researching the life and work of the poet Jeffrey Aspern, who died in tragic circumstances in 1822. He has discovered that Juliana Bordereau, Aspern's last mistress, is living in poverty in Venice with her niece and companion, Miss Tina. Miss Bordereau is said to own certain unpublished manuscripts relating to Aspern. With the help of his friend Mrs. Prest, Jordan hopes to rent rooms in Miss Bordereau's decaying palazzo and so gain access to the coveted Aspern papers. This disc also includes the chamber opera The Night of the Wedding, based on Frank Witney's Nuit de Noces.

Michael Hurd was born in Gloucester on 19 December 1928. He studied at Pembroke College, Oxford (1950-53) with Sir Thomas Armstrong and Dr Bernard Rose and became President of the University Music Society. In addition, he took composition lessons from Lennox Berkeley. Following a six-year term (1953-59) as Professor of Music Theory at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, he settled in West Liss, Hampshire, dedicating the rest of his life to a variety of musical pursuits - composing, writing, conducting, lecturing and broadcasting. He travelled widely and was a frequent visitor to Australia where he helped to found the Port Fairy Music Festival which staged the first performances of his last two operas. He died in Petersfield, Hampshire on 8 August 2006, at the age of 78.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, London (05/03/2014); Ulster Hall, Belfast (05/03/2014); Henry Wood Hall, London (09/12/2011-09/14/2011); Ulster Hall, Belfast (09/12/2011-09/14/2011).


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Works Details

>Hurd, Michael : The Aspern Papers, chamber opera
  • Performers: Clare McCaldin (Voice); Owen Gilhooly (Baritone); Louise Winter (Mezzo Soprano); Pippa Goss
  • Conductor: George Vass
  • Ensemble: Ulster Orchestra
  • Notes: Ulster Hall, Belfast (09/12/2011-09/14/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1994

>Hurd, Michael : The Night of the Wedding, chamber opera
  • Performers: Simon Lepper (Piano); Garry Humphreys; Nicholas Morton (Boy Soprano); Rhian Lois; Matthew Buswell
  • Conductor: Ronald Corp
  • Running Time: 16 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1998