O'Regan: A Letter of Rights to commemorate the 800th anniversary

O'Regan: A Letter of Rights to commemorate the 800th anniversary
© The Magna Carta of 1215
New music continues in the new year with a U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan and Alice Goodman’s A Letter of Rights. This debut, a keystone event of the 2016 Twelfth Night Festival, will take place on Monday, January 4, at 5 p.m. and feature the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY under the direction of Julian Wachner.

A Letter of Rights, written to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, explores the Due Process clauses of the document through a series of eight sections interwoven with instrumental interludes. According to the composer and the librettist, who infuse both English and Latin elements into the work, this cantata is also concerned with a theme that precedes the textual content that serves as the basis of the work: the dark reality that these rights did not come freely. In the program note, Tarik O’Regan and Alice Goodman explain “something comes before the text, before the pen curves through the air to form the first capital. That is the ground on which the letter is set: the parchment. Since the making of parchment requires the shedding of blood, this is where we begin.”

This cantata — for SATB choir and a modest chamber orchestra of strings and percussion — was first premiered by David Halls, the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, and La Folia at the Salisbury Cathedral, United Kingdom in June of 2015.

Tarik O’Regan, hailed by Gramophone as “one of the leading British composers of his generation,” is wrapping up a year of major performances and recordings, including a Hallé Orchestra Commission and the North American premiere of his first opera, Heart of Darkness, which was first heard at Royal Opera House in London back in 2011. In February of 2016 the Dutch National Ballet will give the highly anticipated world premiere of O’Regan’s Mata Hari. For perusal scores, recordings, and more information about Tarik O’Regan please contact schirmer@schirmer.com.

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