Timeless Figure

a music theatre work for baritone and ensemble

Martin Bussey

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a music theatre work for baritone and ensemble

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Composer Martin Bussey
Year of Composition 2020
Duration ca.40'
ISMN 9790570683833

Instrumentation Baritone, Marimba, Clarinet In Bb, Viola
Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-mb2tf1


Timeless Figure, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2020 from Tête à Tête #2 on Vimeo.

Timeless Figure is about Time. The solo baritone, representing J.B.Joyce, making clocks in Shropshire in 1680, is transported into the world of trains, telegraph and ever-faster movement across the centuries. From clocks on village steeples to railway clocks and civic clocks around the world, what does Time look like?

In the stage version, Joyce reacts to specially commissioned photography, capturing urban and rural images of Time. Marconi rubs shoulders with the Romans.

How does Time change and how does it change us?

With the digital bleep, does Time stand still?

The text is by the composer with additional texts by Thomas Hardy; Sir Walter Raleigh; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; and John Dowland.

The music is both lyrical and dramatic, ending with varied versions of Dowland’s ‘Time stands still’.

It exploits the possibilities of a mixed ensemble of clarinet, viola and marimba, each instrument sharing a duo movement with the singer.

Timeless Figure was premiered at The Cockpit Theatre, London, on September 15, 2020, as part of the Tête-à-tête Opera Festival, conducted by the composer, with Peter Edge as J.B.Joyce.

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