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George Lloyd Society News XI

George Lloyd Society News XI

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  Newsletter XI 

   1st October 2013 

Iernin: A Celtic Opera. 

Music by George Lloyd 1913-1998 Libretto by William A C Lloyd

‚ÄúThis is a lovely opera with something that most of us despaired of finding in a twentieth-century work¬†- tunes that stay in the memory.‚Ä̬†

 “ I do find that the heart goes out to this opera. “ 

 "Lloyd showed that rarest of all qualities in a British composer, an almost unerring perception of what the stage requires .. an extraordinary achievement." 
The Times

Not staged since its première in 1934 and short London run in 1935, George Lloyd’s Iernin tells the story of a maiden turned to stone by puritanical priests, only to reawaken hundreds of years later and ensnare the heart of a betrothed Cornish nobleman. This is set against the backdrop of a soon to be occupied Cornwall and the struggle of its leader and people to retain their independence from the Saxon overlords. It is a story about the defence of the weak and society’s fear of change, but above all our fear of and fascination with the unknown. Written during the rise of German National Socialism and alongside the abdication of Edward VIII, the story also strikes some fortuitous chords with one of the most dramatic periods in British history, a period which would change George Lloyd’s life forever.

Surrey Opera now brings a fully staged Centenary production of Iernin to Croydon, and then home to Cornwall, where it was conceived and first performed. Written when the Cornish composer was still in his teens, Iernin is based on a Celtic legend inspired by the Nine Maidens stone circle near Penzance. Lloyd’s music dramatically evokes the mystical world of Iernin as well as the very human struggle of love and loyalty versus desire. This new production will be performed using Lloyd’s original scoring.

The Cast

Iernin              Catharine Rogers 
Bedwyr            James Harrison
Gerent             Edward Hughes
A Priest            Jon Openshaw
Cunaide           Felicity Buckland
A Huntsman     James Schouten
Edyrn               Håkan Vramsmo
Saxon Thane   Robert Trainer 

CROYDON: Trinity School Concert Hall/Theatre, Croydon: Thu 24th - Sat 26th October 2013 t 7.30pm. 
Tickets £20 and £18 Balcony. £2 off for concessions.
May be reserved by email to our Box Office, telephone 020 8660 5760 or purchased online

PENZANCE: St John's Hall, Alverton St, Penzance TR18 2QR: Fri 1st/Sat 2nd November 2013 at 7.30pm. 
Tickets £20 raked seats. £18 floor seats. £2 off for concessions.
From the Box Office, or telephone 01736 810 181.

Link to Surrey Opera website:

Other Forthcoming Events:

King's Messenger:  4th October, Charlton House, London

King’s Messenger: 11th October Regent Hall, London.

Truro Cathedral: Symphonic Mass. (Seminar 5th October)
BBC NOW, Three Spires Singers, 23rd November. 

Mid Sussex Sinfonia: In Memoriam (Premiere of orchestral version)
12th October

Worthing Symphony Orchestra: 6th Symphony. 10th November

Royal Marines Band Service Memorial Service. 4th Symphony (Part)Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral.
Sunday 13 October 2013

Cambridge Brass band:  Royal Parks,
Saturday 2 November 2013.  Girton College. 

Royal Marine Band Service:  10th Symphony
21st November. St Mary’s Church, Portsmouth 

The Angel Orchestra:  Cello Concerto, 1st December 

Reviews, Features and Blogs:

The Lloyd Requiem at the Proms attracted a number of surprisingly hostile but uninformative reviews, to which, naturally, we prefer not to give any currency. The following is a selection of the more open-minded comments:

Requiem Review I:

Requiem Review II:   The Classical Reviewer

Last Night Review:     Seen and Heard 

Last Night Review:     Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Music Blog

Last Night Review:     Opera Britannia

BBC Arts Feature:      BBC Arts 

BBC World Service: ¬†¬†BBC World Service ‚Äď The Witness

Review:                    English Heritage CD:

Click here for the blog about George Lloyd and the Arctic Convoys on the National Museum of Scotland website.  National Museum of Scotland:  Arctic Convoy feature



If you are thinking about going to Truro Cathedral on 23 November, you may like to go to the¬†Seminar in¬†TRURO SCHOOL CHAPEL Saturday 5 October¬†9.30 am ‚Äď 2.00 pm

Seminar Speakers:

William Lloyd - The George Lloyd Society - William is George Lloyd’s nephew, was for many years his recording manager and now administers The George Lloyd Society, maintains the archive and promotes Lloyd’s music through performances, broadcasts and recordings.

Professor Kenneth Kleszynski -  Professor of Music, University of Portland, Oregon.  Professor Kleszynski was at the dress rehearsal and première of A Symphonic Mass, and visited George Lloyd beforehand.  He will talk about what was discussed, what was learned from Lloyd’s rehearsal comments, and important musical elements within the piece itself.

Bruce Reader is a classical music reviewer and author of Diary of a Friendship.  Bruce’s book is an account of his friendship with George Lloyd and he will give an overview of Lloyd’s music with some background.

Janet Axten - Heritage Manager, St Ives Archive. George Lloyd was born in St Ives on 28 June 1913.  Janet will set George Lloyd and his family within the context of the St Ives of the early twentieth century, and of St Eia where he was born.

Christopher Gray - Music Director, Three Spires Singers will lead some singing from A Symphonic Mass, an opportunity for everyone to participate in this beautiful music. 

Strange Storms and Symphonies:
a film about George Lloyd and his music (duration 40 mins)

Price £15 (under 18 half price)  to include music, coffee and cake

Finally, If you would like to listen to the BBC Singers singing the Lloyd Requiem, it is available here: PIPEDREAMS

Thank you once again for your interest in the George Lloyd Society.



William Lloyd


PS  Please support the revival of Iernin!  As John Ireland pointed out in 1935, this is a remarkable work:

" Having heard the opera twice, I have no hesitation in saying that it is quite the most remarkable work produced by a British composer during the last 20 years, whether in the form of opera or other musical forms. As a composition teacher of long experience, it is at once evident to me that the composer of this work has a unique talent, which one may well suppose to be genius, sparing as one must be in ones use of that word. There is no doubt at all that this truly remarkable work will be accepted, wherever it is heard, for what it actually is‚ÄĒa great opera, and a splendid piece of music." ¬†John Ireland

Book your tickets now!  


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