Marilyn Forever
Composer: Gavin Bryars
Composer Bio: Gavin Bryars was born in Yorkshire in 1943. His first musical reputation was as a jazz bassist working in the early sixties with improvisers Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. He abandoned improvisation in 1966 and worked for a time in the United States with John Cage. Subsequently he collaborated closely with composers such as Cornelius Cardew and John White. His first major work as a composer was The Sinking of the Titanic (1969) originally released on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975 and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971), both famously released in new versions in the 1990s on Point Music label, selling over a quarter of a million copies. The original 1970s recordings have been re-released on CD by Virgin Records. His first opera, Medea was first staged by the director Robert Wilson at the Opéra de Lyon and Opéra de Paris in 1984. Following the success of the original production, a revised version was given in concert in 1995 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His second opera, Doctor Ox's Experiment (based on a story by Jules Vernes and with a libretto by Blake Morrison) was staged by the Canadian film director Atom Egoyan for English National Opera in 1998. A separate production of Doctor Ox's Experiment appeared in 1999 in Dortmund, Germany. The third opera, G (libretto again by Blake Morrison), was commissioned by Mainz Opera and was premiered in February 2002, staged by Georges Delnon, in the newly refurbished Mainz Opera House. Among Gavin Bryars' other works are three string quartets and a great deal of chamber music, much of it for his own ensemble. Since 2006 he has collaborated with Opera North Projects, initially with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) on Shakespeare sonnets Nothing like the Sun (2007) and subsequently on Mercy and Grand (2007-8) – a project on the songs of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Since 2006 he has worked with the Irish singer Iarla O'Lionaird on settings of eary Gaelic texts. Gavin Bryars has a particular association with dance and the visual arts: choreographers who have used his work and commissioned new pieces from him include William Forsythe, Lucinda Childs, Carolyn Carlson, Maguy Marin, Jiri Kylian, Siobhan Davies, Edouard Lock and David Dawson. His hugely successful collaboration with Merce Cunningham, Biped, was in the Cunningham Company's repertoire and played world-wide. Among Gavin Bryars' numerous recordings are Three Viennese Dancers, After The Requiem, The Black River and Vita Nova on ECM New Series, The Last Days on Argo (1995), and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1993), The Sinking of the Titanic (1994), Farewell to Philosophy (1996), A Man in a Room Gambling (1997) and Cadman Requiem (1998) on Point Music. In 2000 he started his own label GB Records with an initial release of Biped. This was followed with a number of other albums: Lockerbie Memorial Concert (2003), A Man in a Room, Gambling (2003), Oi me lasso (2005), On Photography (2005), A Listening Room (2005), Glorious Hill (2007), Silva Caledonia (2008), Amjad (2008), Season of Mists (2008), I have heard it said that a spirit enters (2010), Live at Punkt (2010), I send you this Cadmium Red (2010), Al Suon dell'acque scriva (2010), New York (2010). The Gavin Bryars Ensemble, founded in 1981, performs internationally, including appearances in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Czeck Republic, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Norway, Austria, Japan and Australia, as well as giving occasional concerts in UK.
Librettist: Marilyn Bowering
Librettist Bio: Marilyn Bowering is a poet and novelist who lives in British Columbia. She has received many awards for her work including designation of Notable Book by the New York Times, short-listing for the world-wide Orange Prize and the recent Gwendolyn McEwen poetry prize. In 2008, she was a Fulbright scholar. Her latest publications are the poetry book, Soul Mouth, and the novel, What It Takes To Be Human. Current projects are a novel, Pearl and the Storytellers Academy, and Threshold: an encounter with the 17th century Gaelic bard, Mairi McLeod. The libretto for Marilyn Forever is the result of a long-standing interest in Monroe’s intriguing personality. Marilyn Bowering says, “Growing up having the name Marilyn, was like having a stamp on your forehead—as soon as they heard the name, people would look at you differently. What fascinated me was that Monroe was sexy but not coarse—and she not only had a sense of humour but clear ideas about how things should be, in terms of love and art and beauty; and she never caved to conventional ideas about women.” Marilyn Bowering has a personal connection to Long Beach through her maternal great-grandfather who left his Ontario farm to move his family to the area in 1921.
Premiere Date: September 13, 2013
Description: Marilyn Forever examines Marilyn Monroe’s intellectual and emotional relationship to death and love. As the work progresses, the performance interweaves what is taking place on stage with the trajectory of Monroe’s life through relationships, fame and myth. Ultimately, the characters of the musicians as performers and men in Monroe’s life fuse with the forces that lead to her death. Marilyn Monroe is often looked at as a sex object, victim or fantasy. In this work, we are given through Monroe’s own voice, her combination of sensitivity and exhibitionism, allied to the narrative of the “chorus”, a view from the ‘inside’ of the conflicting emotions and ambitions of this compelling and timeless personality.
Length: 1:30
Total Acts: 1
Contact: Not Available
Composer Web Site: http://www.gavinbryars.com/
Librettist Web Site: http://marilynbowering.com/
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