Video: To The Lighthouse, Part 3

Next in our series of videos from the Dallas Opera and Dallas Theater Center's co-production of The Lighthouse: Discussing Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' music.

published Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Peter Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse is a ghost story based on an actual event. The contemporary chamber opera, first performed in 1980, tells the story of the disappearance of three lighthouse workers from the Fladda Isle Lighthouse off the coast of Scotland in 1900. The mystery of what happened to these men survives to this day. They have never been found.

The score is, in a word, spooky. It is also very complex.

In a 1983 New York Times article that coincided with the U.S. premiere of The Lighthouse, Davies' composition was described like this: "Mr. Davies’s musical idiom is dramatically responsive and harmonically tart…interspersed with songs and effects culled from disparate earlier styles."

A creaky out-of-tune piano is called for in the 12-person orchestra. A banjo is also used, along with a police whistle and maracas, in addition to more traditional instruments like violin and flute. A more recent article about The Lighthouse from the New York Times reads that Davies’ music "builds and recedes like an abstraction from the sea: alternately calm and rhythmically edgy, with ripping horns and growling low strings, a piccolo softly keening like a rocking buoy."

In this video, we hear more about the music, which is difficult to sing as well as to play.

Appearing in "A FOUR OCTAVE RANGE": Guest conductor Nicole Paiement (Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle), pianist Michael Heaston and the three performers in this production: Robert Orth, Daniel Sumegi and Andrew Bidlack.



Special note:  Due to standard American Federation of Musicians requirements, the entirety of the "Behind the Curtain: The Lighthouse" series features three minutes total of the orchestra playing. We are very happy to announce that an upcoming video will feature a dress rehearsal of The Lighthouse. In order to bring you as much of the dress rehearsal as possible, we have chosen leave an orchestra segment out of this video and instead focus on the singers. To hear more of the orchestra, you can watch THE PIT SAGA video, which was in Part 1 of this special series.

Videos produced and edited by Emily Trube and Eric Shaddix, along with Michael Warner. Interviews conducted by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs.

Pictured on the cover: Composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Photo by Martin Lengemann.

The first videos in this series can be viewed here, and the second installment is here.

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs' feature about the project is here.

Keith Cerny's Off the Cuff column about creating new opera is hereThanks For Reading

Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Video: To The Lighthouse, Part 3
Next in our series of videos from the Dallas Opera and Dallas Theater Center's co-production of The Lighthouse: Discussing Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' music.
by Emily Trube

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :