Here’s a list of most of the music we used during The Winter’s Tale in June 2023, with links where relevant.
Entry to Act 1, scene 2, where we wanted something formal for Leontes’ court to process on, and a full orchestra playing:
Young person’s guide to the Orchestra, Benjamin Britten
Golden Slumbers, traditional Nursery Rhyme (and harmonised by the Beatles in the 1965) based on a poem by Elizabethan poet Thomas Dekker. This was sung by the cast before Mamillius was taken away by Leontes, and again before the final statue scene.
Barber’s Adagio for Strings (a personal favourite) for ‘Nor night, nor day no rest’ – tormented Leontes – and then repeated near the end when he promises Paulina he won’t marry again. Find out more about Samuel Barber and his Adagio for Strings in a recent series of Radio 3’s Composer of the Week.
Zorba the Greek for Cleomenes and Dion to dance to, on their return from collecting the oracle at Delphos – a little light relief before the heavy trial scene.
Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home sung by Ella Fitzgerald. This opened the scene (16 years on) where Camilla begged Polixenes to let her return to Sicilia and the repentant King Leontes – but Polixenes had other distractions to worry about.
We played Vaughan-Williams’ English Folk Song Suite during the interval.
The second half began with our own rousing version of Click Go The Shears (and discussed by Brian in the previous blog post).
Get You Hence was adapted by Lesley and sung to the tune of Summer Loving from the film Grease.
For Autolycus’ entrance, the tune to Jog On was inspired by I’m Gonna Be by The Proclaimers.
Robin played Lost Lady Found (by Percy Grainger) on tenor recorder at the start of the ‘Three Gentlemen’ scene, the subject of which is Perdita’s reunion with her father King Leontes.
We also made good use of sound effects – a bear roaring, claps of thunder and lightning and a storm and heavy rain!