Conceived Sheraton Plaza (1991)
Music for a ballet choreographed by Andy Howitt
s sax, b sax, tpt, tbn, 3 perc, pno, 2 vln, vla, vcl, db
duration: 50 minutes
First performed by Charlie Barber + Band at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff on 15 November 1991 with James Mainwaring (soprano saxophone), Matthew Bailey (baritone saxophone), Jonathan Mainwaring (trumpet), Gwyn Daniels (trombone), Phil Girling (percussion), Andy Cookson (percussion), Jonathan Helm (percussion), John Jones (piano), Alison Francis (violin), Richard Treglown (violin), Matthew Roberts (viola), Vicky Higginson (cello), Robin Hames (double bass)
Before his gaudy death in New York in 1953, and against the threat of the Cold War, Dylan Thomas met in a hotel room with Stravinsky to plan a radical opera set in a post nuclear society where a new genesis meant a fresh start for the last man and woman on earth.After the success of The Rake’s Progress opera (with W H Auden), Stravinsky was eager to work with Wales’ greatest poet, then basking in the success of Under Milk Wood.This project takes up the story and asks, what might have been?This musical drama explores the jagged chaos of Thomas’ last days: high ideals amid the low life of New York, bitter memories of a failed marriage in rural Wales, the mysterious unfinished Elegy, and a sudden, passionate, commitment to strike in a bold new direction.