Saturday, 6 December 2014
During research this autumn in the historic Weimar Theatre archives for his Gothic Project, Simon Murphy has made some very exciting repertoire discoveries.
Containing original working material from the theatre's writers and directors including Goethe and Schiller, Murphy found exactly what he had been hoping for in the collection. Tales of the supernatural, of bracing Romantic turbulence, of horrific visions and terrifyingly irresistible destructive urges, of the eeriness of the unexplainable, of corrupted knights and vampires, jumped at him from the pages of the theatre's music manuscripts.
In the months since, Murphy has been enthusiastically weaving several of his musical discoveries into the Gothic Project's concert productions, enhancing the programmes' content and further tweaking the productions' flow and impact.
Intertwining powerful symphonic works with arias and spoken word, the project's theatrical concert productions include "Black Magic", "Great Scot" and "Gothic Stories". The programmes explore the world of ghosts, spirits, shape-shifters and the undead, as well as the real world heroes - flawed or otherwise - who battle them, with gripping stage and concert music by Mozart, Reichardt, Weber, Spohr, Gade, Mendelssohn, ETA Hoffmann, Lortzing, Marschner and Wagner, alongside the new Weimar discoveries. Literary works explored in the project's productions include Polidori's The Vampyre, Macpherson's Ossian, Shelly's Frankenstein, Apel and Laun's Tales of the Dead, Bürger's Lenore and Goethe's Faust.
The project's first concert production, "Black Magic", was recently successfully premièred by conductor Murphy and soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto in The Hague's Philipszaal.
Watch Murphy and Otto perform the Witches Scene from Reichardt's setting of Macbeth from the première performance of the programme "Black Magic"
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For more information on booking one of the productions
with Simon Murphy and the New Dutch Academy (halls or festivals),
or contracting one of the productions
with Simon Murphy as guest conductor (symphony orchestras),
please send an email to
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Monday, 1 December 2014
Simon Murphy has been asked to create and perform a special new production for the Netherlands' Council of State.
Commemorating the 450th anniversary of a seminal address of William the Silent to the Council of State in which the Dutch leader outlined his vision for what would become the Dutch constitution, Murphy's hand-tailored concert programme includes music, spoken word and arias from Reichardt's setting of Goethe's Egmont, from Schiller's Don Karlos and Wallensteins Tod, together with other vocal and orchestral works by Abel, Mozart and Beethoven.
The engagement follows previous performances by Murphy and the New Dutch Academy for the Council of State and for the Dutch royal family. Vice-President Donner will host the January 2015 event.