Julia’s Story

for mezzo-soprano

Alastair Greig

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Composer Alastair Greig
Year of Composition 1995
Duration ca.8'
Composer

Instrumentation

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Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-ag2js1

Notes

In 1994, Ruth Padel and I, amongst other composers, poets, writers and singers, were invited to participate in a Royal Opera House Garden Venture project bringing together the written and spoken word with music. Over a short but intense period of activity Ruth and I collaborated on creating the short piece of musical theatre that is ‘Julia’s Story’. The initial premise was to sift through countless stories in newspapers and Ruth was struck by an extraordinary tale of a woman who was reportedly teaching primates to speak. Ruth crept into the mind of the scientist and imagined a scenario where the ‘experiment’ crossed over from objective observation to subjective love, resulting in a form of madness.

Linda Hirst was on hand to sing through all the initial sketches and by the end of a weekend the piece was completed, text and music. Linda performed the piece informally in a workshop at the end of the project and the first public performance took place during the 1995 Spitalfields Festival. The performer on that occasion was Catherine King with direction from Gregory Rose and electronics provided by Stephen Montague.