Roger Steptoe: Beyond Borders
New settings of Shakespeare sonnets celebrating his 450th Birthday
Welsh Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Swan
May - November 2014
England, Wales, France
This project has been jointly devised by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, which is the only designated chamber orchestra for north Wales, and the Orchestra of the Swan, the resident chamber orchestra in Stratford-up-on-Avon. Both orchestras will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 2014 and Roger Steptoe’s new settings of Shakespeare sonnets will form the centrepiece of these celebrations, including a prestigious world premiere performance in Stratford itself, Shakespeare’s birth place. The new work will be presented twice in Wales and twice in England next year. The composer will be present at the performances and will engage the audience in pre- and post- performance talks. It is further anticipated that the work will form part of the orchestras’ repertoire in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
The performances will take place at Stratford Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon on 23 May 2014; YGanolfan, Beaumarison 29 May 2014; Townsend Hall, Shipston on 19 June, 2014; and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Dolgellau on 28 November 2014. The soloist will be Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone). The conductor of the English performances will be David Curtis (Orchestra of the Swan), and the conductor of the Welsh performances will be Anthony Hose (Welsh Chamber Orchestra). The 20 minute work will be scored for baritone and string orchestra. The French premiere will take place at the Uzerche Festival on 20 August 2016, performed by Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) and the Orchestra of the Swan.