String Quartet with Soprano “Sonnet and Soliloquies on William Shakespeare”
by Jennifer Foster and Miami Quartet on March 1, 2005
Published: expected by Schott.
The composer’s website: http://www.leehoiby.com
Lee Hoiby on Wlkipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Hoiby
The question of the appropriateness of the singer’s gender to these texts opens interesting doors. In an operatic version of Twelfth Night written by Purcell or Handel, Orsino might quite plausibly be a castrato. So might most of the roles in Twelfth Night. In the two sonnet settings, Shakespeare’s own voice, emblematic for centuries of universality, certainly belongs to both genders. In general the Sonnets tend to treat gendered particularities as cavalier fancies, continually trumped by the more powerful relations of status, family, age, and talent. “The quality of mercy,” a passionately earnest sermon, is delivered by a female character, disguised as a male, and, on Shakespeare’s stage, played by a male. (Notes by Mark Shulgasser, librettist for Mr. Hoiby’s Shakespearean operas.)
Sponsored by: The estate of Maxwell Rosenlicht, the Aasheghan e Aavaaz Group (“Lovers of Song” in Persian), and Richard and Judy Sanderson