Composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks 1912 - 1990

 

Australian Peggy Glanville-Hicks won an international reputation as an opera composer and was among the few women in this field to achieve such distinction. Most of her works were written in America in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and most have been recorded, including two of the four operas. In 1963 the Ford Foundation commissioned a new opera for the San Francisco Opera House, and with Lawrence Durrell as librettist, she wrote Sappho. From 1948 to 1958 Glanville-Hicks was also a music critic writing for the New York Herald Tribune.

 

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Librettist Lawrence Durrell 1912 - 1990

 

Born in India, Lawrence Durrell was a novelist, educated in England, but deeply
connected to Greece, where he lived for many years, amongst many other places
around the globe. A long time friend of Henry Miller, his love of literature saw him teaching and receiving recognition as an author of international stature with his four volume set, The Alexandria Quartet, amongst many other novels.

 

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Sappho Circa 630BC

 

One of the few known poets of the ancient world, Sappho was one of the great Greek lyrists. An aristocrat married to a merchant, she chose to spend her life studying the arts on the isle of Lesbos, then a major cultural centre. Writing poems to be performed accompanied by a lyre, she was part of a new wave of Greek lyrists who wrote poetry from an individual viewpoint, rather than from that of a god or muse. One of the first poets to write from the first person, with a sensuous style, she described love and loss as it affected her personally. Many of the targets of her affections were women.

 

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Jennifer Condon Music Director b 1983

 

Jennifer Condon works as Souffleuse (prompt) at the Hamburg State Opera, under renowned Conductor Simone Young, a position she has held for three years. She has a repertoire of over 40 operas in her command.

To date her greatest project and abiding passion is to present a world premiere recording and production of Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hick’s Sappho, composed in 1963, in her centennial year, 2012.

 

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Owls Nest Opera Production

 

Owl’s Nest Opera was founded to promote the work of Australian artists and composers, in particular Peggy Glanville-Hicks, on the world stage.

ONO’s first undertaking is the world premiere recording of Glanville-Hicks’ opera Sappho (1963). The recording is planned to take place in Portugal with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus, and an international cast headed by KS Deborah Polaski and Sir John Tomlinson. The CD is to be released in late 2012 in celebration of the composer’s centenary. Owl's Nest Opera hopes to bring the work to the stage across several continents.