Shakespeare & Music

Al Bustan Festival 2016

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Professor Julie Sanders is an English Literature and Drama specialist with an international reputation in early modern literature and in adaptation studies. Her first lectureship was at Keele University in 1995 and she then joined the University of Nottingham as Chair of English Literature and Drama in 2004. In 2012, Julie was awarded the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for international women’s scholarship and she has a strong track record in cross-disciplinary research and international collaboration.

‘Play On’: William Shakespeare’s Afterlife in Music
2016 marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death and a year of global celebrations of his life and works will reflect on his remarkable legacy. This lecture will focus on the particularly rich afterlives of Shakespeare in music, in forms and genres as diverse as jazz, opera, film score, classical symphony, ballet, musical, and popular song. Thinking about Shakespeare’s reception and interpretation in music, over time, in different cultures, and for different venues, spaces, and audiences, can tell us much about the plays and the different ways in which they have made meaning in the world over the centuries. But this 400-year journey through Shakespeare’s musical legacy is also a celebration of artistic creativity. In the course of this talk, we will see (and hear) plays such as Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and The Winter’s Tale remade and made to mean afresh in new cultural, linguistic, performative, and geographical contexts. Theories of adaptation and appropriation will be used to shed light on the canon of Shakespearean adaptation in music and song.

We will begin with the significance of music and song in Shakespeare’s own plays and then turn to a few specific examples, chosen deliberately from different historical, cultural and international contexts, to tell the amazing story of Shakespeare and music. On the way, we will encounter Henry Purcell’s early experiments with opera in the seventeenth century, the importance of Shakespeare to European classical and operatic traditions, the ways in which Chinese opera has engaged with the plays, how Shakespeare is quoted and riffed on in jazz and popular music, and how film directors such as Baz Luhrmann have made a unique art form out of their responses to Shakespeare on screen using music to connect with their audiences and to remake Shakespeare for their own space, place, and time.

Performance will be held in Maamari Hall.
For ticketing you can see Points of Sale

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