Opus Anglicanum: The Great and Wide Sea

  • The Lord Mayor's Chapel, Bristol City Hall, College Green Bristol, BS1 5TR
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, illustrated by Gustave Dore

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, illustrated by Gustave Dore

Opus Anglicanum will perform their latest commission, a setting of Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Lynne Plowman.  Twelve musical miniatures will illustrate Zeb's complete reading of Coleridge’s 1798 epoch-making work.  Lynne Plowman's 12 compositions refer to the engravings by David Jones for Douglas Cleverdon’s 1929 edition of the poem.  Lynne Plowman won the 2003 British Composers Award and has composed for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the London Mozart Players.

It will be partnered with another original Opus commission also on a seafaring theme, Sally Beamish's haunting Sea Psalm - an account of the sinking of HMS Duchess in 1939 from its only surviving officer.  The work highlights the helplessness of individuals in the relentless tide of war and is a very special work in the Opus Anglicanum repertoire.  The psalm They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships forms a refrain to the account,  ending with the hymn Eternal Father Strong to Save.  Sally Beamish is a composer whose work is performed and broadcast internationally. She has composed for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and BBC Proms.

Embodying the voice of the sole surviving officer of a World War II naval accident, Soanes brought tension and drama to his account of the dramatic splitting of a ship into two halves, with great loss of life. His timing of the narrative episodes in this complexly structured work was flawless.
— Claire Seymour, Seen and Heard International