In conversation with William Christie

No-one has done as much to bring the music of the French Baroque stage back to life as William Christie, so what a great pleasure it has been to welcome him to Oxford this week as the Humanitas Visiting Professor of Opera 2018-19 and to participate in the lively round-table discussion with him. What with James Halliday’s lecture and Bill’s conversation with Edward Higginbottom (in Prologue and 5 Acts format!), we have been treated to events both fascinating and entertaining……

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NOVELLO and BAFTA success for Horizon Zero Dawn

Having already won two G.A.N.G. awards in San Francisco – including one for my choral compositions – and the Jerry Goldsmith award and having been BAFTA-nominated and voted the best game of 2017, the soundtrack of Horizon Zero Dawn has now been awarded the ultimate accolade – the 2018 IVOR NOVELLO award! Many congratulations to Joris, Joe, Alexis and Niels and everyone at Guerilla Games for this tremendous success…!

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Rameau’s Dardanus at ETO – ‘A remarkable work, shot through with grace and magic’

Here are some responses to the recent production of Dardanus which I was fortunate to conduct for English Touring Opera. I’m thrilled that the cast and orchestra have been recognised for their great work and that director Douglas Rintoul’s hugely intelligent, musically sensitive and sincere interpretation of the libretto has been so widely appreciated. Doug has completely changed the way I think about Rameau’s librettos and opened up new avenues of research to follow in 2018. Tim Ashley, The Guardian…

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A 5-star Times review for Les fêtes d’Hébé!

Thank you Richard Morrison for your wonderful 5 star review in The Times (7 April). Your kind words are much appreciated…! “This charming production – wittily staged, vividly designed and meticulously choreographed by Thomas Lebrun – perfectly captured the inconsequential élan of the original….The voices were young, but stylishly deployed, and in the pit Jonathan Williams encouraged spirited playing from the RCM Baroque Orchestra. Hébé must have been richly entertained, and so was I.” Read the complete review here (behind…

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An imaginary pilgrimage… and a unicorn?

Here’s a beautiful post from my terrific former St Hilda’s colleague, Dr Kathryne Beebe. Katy has been working on Felix Fabri’s accounts of his pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 1480s. His day-by-day accounts were read by enclosed nuns so that they might make an ‘imaginary pilgrimage’ to Jerusalem and beyond without leaving their cloisters. Katy and I had a wonderful time putting together text, images and music for a performance to illustrate the real and imagined journeys, which…

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Horizon Zero Dawn is out!

HORIZON ZERO DAWN, Sony’s new blockbuster PS4 video game, is here! And I can at last say that I am lucky enough to have composed some of the fabulous soundtrack! Invited by lead composer and old friend Joris de Man, I wrote and recorded the four choral tracks during the summer of 2016. Three are for men’s voices and are sung by the Mesa City priests during their sun worship rituals, and the fourth is for the three female singers at…

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Iridiana at Christ Church

Thank you Revd John Paton for inviting Consort Iridiana to Christ Church on Thursday, not only to sing in the Cathedral but to join you for dinner in the sumptuous surroundings of Christ Church’s dining hall. To be able to sing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Missa Brevis as part of the Eucharist is one of the highlights of our year. Special thanks go to everyone who made our visit possible, and to Rachel Wick (harp) and Will Wallace (organ) for coming to making music…

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Jauchzet, frohlocket!

Rejoice indeed! And many congratulations to Ealing Choral Society’s 100 singers for a wonderful performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on Saturday. Thank you Sinfonia Britannica (and especially leader Miles Golding and manager Philippa Brownsword) and thank you lovely soloists for coming to make music in Ealing and for inspiring us to new heights. What a fabulous way to start the festive season…!

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Rameau in Trondheim

Thank you Martin and Erik at Trondheim Barokk for inviting me to create the scores of three new Rameau suites! It was a great privilege to hear you make music with Hervé Nicquet and Anders Dahlin at the two excellent concerts in Trondheim’s Vår Frue Kirke and Oslo’s Universitetets aula. A busy few days but managed a little bit of sightseeing too!  

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Jonathan Williams © 2018. CSD