Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King
Opening Celebrations May June 1967
The following are extracts taken from the original Souvenir Programme.
Committee and Staff
|Chairman||The Most Rev G A Beck AA BA Archbishop of Liverpool|
|Vice-Chairman||The Very Rev Bishop A Harris|
|Mgr T G McKenna|
|Mgr Cyril Taylor|
|Father Richard Wright OSB|
|J T Edwards|
|R O C Swayne|
|T J C Taylor|
|Artistic Director||Bill Harpe|
|Celebrations Administrator||Peter McGahey|
|Personal Assistant to Artistic Director||Barbara McKenzie|
|Administrative Staff||Alison Dunn|
|Hon Press Assistant||Terry Wright|
|Graphic Designer||Ed Skyner|
|Box Office Manager||Mavis Murphy|
by the Most Rev G A Beck AA BA Archbishop of Liverpool
A Cathedral is first and foremost a place of worship. It is designed to be the House of God where, in liturgical form, the action of a worshipping community takes place. The focal point in the building should, for this reason, be the high altar. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is intended to be such a building, expressed in contemporary design and making use of the structural techniques of the twentieth century. It is meant to provide the means by which a community in the modern age can express and fulfil its duty of worshipping God.
During the course of her history, the Church has shown herself an unfailing patron of the arts; architecture, sculpture and painting have developed and flourished under her influence. These forms of art were, however, to some extent external or incidental to the life of the Church. With music and dramatic art the situation is different and unique. Dramatic art with its accompanying music was from the early centuries part of the Church’s worshipping activity. The liturgy itself is drama in ritual form. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the middle ages, particularly from the tenth to the fourteenth century, a form of non-liturgical dramatic art grew out of the Church’s life, and found expression in the great cathedrals and churches of Western Europe. In England, as in France, Spain and the German countries, we have a rich tradition of miracle or ‘mystery’ plays of which the Chester, Coventry and York cycles are among the better known examples. These plays, religious in content and message, mark a step in the history of drama and the theatre.
After the fourteenth century theatrical presentation became increasingly secularised and tended to draw apart from the Church. In more modern times, apart from the writing of Masses by great composers, sometimes for presentation in a concert hall rather than in a church, the theatre and drama have almost entirely lost touch with the Church and its life. The tide, however, now seems to be turning. The twentieth century will be increasingly influenced by the decisions and discussions of the Second Vatican Council. One of the aims of the Council is to present the Church as open to the world of its time, anxious to integrate with religion all that is good in human life, activity and experience. This is one of the reasons why, in addition to the liturgical ceremonies and the purely religious functions, the opening of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool is being marked by an artistic festival. This festival embraces a wide range of cultural activities and items, including music, architecture and the fine arts, with a special place for orchestral and choral works.
The programme gives chief prominence to the Choreographed Mass in which the seventeenth century music of Francesco Cavalli will be interpreted in rhythm and movement in an attempt to express what the great composers have hitherto done through music alone-to show more clearly if possible in this modern art form the sentiments and emotions of a congregation at worship.
The artistic festival which follows the consecration and opening of the Metropolitan Cathedral would not have been possible without support and encouragement from many sources. The Cathedral General Committee gave its approval to the idea that some form of artistic celebration should emphasize the importance of this splendid new building not only to the Roman Catholic community but to all the citizens of Liverpool. A Cathedral Opening Celebrations Committee was set up, representative of both civic and artistic interests. This Committee has been responsible for the programme of Opening Celebrations which will take place after the strictly religious ceremonies have been completed. Without the enthusiasm, expert knowledge and the generous service of all the members of the committee, the scheme could not have been brought to realisation. Details of the whole programme were entrusted to the Artistic Director, Mr Bill Harpe, who has also been responsible for designing and presenting the unique Choreographed Mass, which is the main item in the festival programme.
The Opening Celebrations’ Committee wished as far as possible to emphasize the civic importance of the new Cathedral and the architectural enrichment which it brings to Liverpool. They have been magnificently supported in this aim by the City Corporation which has not only donated the baptistery gates in the Cathedral itself, but has offered very generous financial support to the festival celebrations. A tribute of gratitude must also be paid to all those firms and business interests which have followed the example of the Corporation in financing this venture. We hope it will bring not merely entertainment but also artistic satisfaction and no little increase in civic pride to the citizens of Liverpool and to all who assist at the various events in the wide programme of Celebrations.
|Aria from Cantata 68||Johann Sebastian Bach|
|Francesco Cavalli realised by Raymond Leppard|
|Mass of Christ the King|
La Messe du Christ Roi
|Dance Company||Mireya Barbosa, Bill Duthie, Prue Purves-Hume, Lucy Pearson (soloists), Frances Bowler, Christine Coleman, Hilary Cowen, Penny Durrell, David Earle, Patricia Fraser, Linda Gibbs, Neil Gibson, Joanna Grant, Zenia Hribar, Michael Hudson, Suzanne L’Estrange, Catherine Lawrence, Derek Linton, Susan MacPhearson, Marian Meadowcroft, Barry Moncrieffe, Vera Mors, Norman Murray, Jack Nightingale, Jann Parry, Janet Pearce, Lynne Peterson, Elsa Piperno, Sheila Raj, Alma Robinson, Bertie Rose, Sue Smith, Valerie Stanford, Mavis Taberner, Franca Telesio, Sorrell Thorne, Dinah Weir, Rebecca Drinkall (understudy)|
|Assistant to the Choreographer and Ballet Mistress (ballet)||Christine Mearing|
|Ballet Master (modern American)||David Earle|
|Company Manager||Michael Freeman|
|Orchestra||Northern Sinfonia (leader Joseph Segal)|
|Soloists||April Cantelo, Hazel Holt, Sybil Michelow, John Noble, Rosemary Phillips, Roger Staleman, David Johnston, Wilfred Brown|
|Choir||Welsh Choral Union (chorus master Dr. Caleb Jarvis)|
|Works Notated in Labanotation||Ray Cook, Assistant Philippa Heale|
|Costume designer||Germinal Casado|
|Costumes realised by||Pamela Moore|
|Lighting Designer||Robert Ornbo of Theatre Projects|
|Lighting Consultant||Percy Corry|
|Lighting Equipment||Strand Electric|
|Stage||Watts and Corry|
|Stage Director||Geoff Moore|
|Producer, Director, Choreographer||Bill Harpe|
The Drama of the Mass
In this new Cathedral of Christ the King, which is above all a place of worship, the focal point is a great high alter of white marble, standing in the centre of the nave. During the liturgical celebrations to mark the opening, the Mass, the supreme act of Catholic worship, was daily celebrated at this altar.
The Drama of the Mass which Mr Harpe is presenting, is not, of course, such an act of worship. There is no real Mass. There is no priest. The high altar remains bare and unused.
The Mass, however, has always been associated with art. When Mr Harpe was commissioned to organise an artistic festival to celebrate the opening of the Cathedral, it was originally suggested that the principal item for presentation in the Cathedral should be in the form of a Pageant of Christ the King. There were many serious difficulties which made this suggestion impracticable. In his reading and research, Mr Harpe turned to the Mass and was struck by some words written by Ronald Knox in his book The Mass in Slow Motion. There Monsignor Knox said that the movements of the priest during the course of the Mass ‘really add up to a kind of dance, meant to express a religious idea to you, the spectators”. The liturgy of the Mass uses the language of signs as well as of words. The Mass is itself a sacred sign by the very fact that it is an act of worship. The renewal of the liturgy in the past few years makes clear that the Mass should be an act of worship of the whole community and that all the people of the community should take an active and conscious part.
The great composers have shown their genius in the music they have written for those parts common to every Mass, which are sung by the choir. These choral and orchestral Masses are musical settings for some of the prayers of the Mass. They express through the medium of music the religious emotions and sentiments of a worshipping community. They do not, of course, fully communicate the essential prayers and the central acts of the Mass, which take place in silence with no more than the whispered words of the priest at the altar. For this reason an orchestral presentation of the Mass is in one sense inadequate. Musical presentation in a concert hall cannot fully convey what the Mass means to the believing worshipper.
Yet, the musical parts of the Mass do express, often with great beauty, some of the deep mental and spiritual attitudes of a congregation engaged in the worship of God. The Kyrie of the Mass is a plea for God’s mercy; the Gloria is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving; the Credo an affirmation of faith; and the Agnus Dei a gesture of trust and simple confidence in God’s forgiveness.
When the prayers of the Mass are set to music, even in a concert hall, they stimulate the sense of religion and worship. The Mass however is far more than words and music. It began as a ritual meal-The Last Supper-celebrated on the occasion of the Paschal meal which already had a long history with the Jewish people. The Mass is an action in which the congregation is expected to play its part in the offering of bread and wine and in the sharing of the sacred meal. This is all The Drama of the Mass seeks to portray. Visual expression is given to the sharing and the people of God in this gesture of worship in a religious setting the art of moving is wedded to the art of music
The Choreographed Mass produced by Mr Harpe to the music of Cavalli’s Messa Concertata seeks to express in movement and in rhythm, the spiritual hunger, the sorrow for sin, the praise of God, the confidence and optimism of a community which is intimately involved in a gesture of worship, whose history and structure take us back to the Last Supper. This will be more easily understood by careful reading of the text of the Messa Concertata on page 11 for the choreography is closely linked to these words. It is hoped that this presentation will be accepted as a sincere attempt to express, in dance as well as in music, the ideals which inspired the great composers of the past.
Born in Darlington 31 years ago, Bill Harpe read English at Cambridge, where he founded and ran a University Society which set out to encourage and analyse the use of movement and dance in theatre as a whole. After University he completed a thorough theatre and dance training in London which he had begun during National Service, and continued through University. He trained in contemporary dance (American Martha Graham/Jerome Robbins styles) as well as in ballet. As a performer-his first work after training was dancing in opera at Sadler’s Wells-Bill Harpe has done everything from chorus work to principal parts, and has played in both ‘commercial’ theatre (pantomime) and in more ‘artistic’ theatre (school tours in association with the Arts Council etc). He has worked as a ballet master and choreographer, as well as teaching in a number of leading dancing schools.
Bill Harpe is no stranger to Liverpool and the North West, which he first came to in December 1961. He has appeared in Liverpool pantomimes at the Empire Theatre, with Tommy Steele and with Morecambe and Wise. He has appeared at the Royal Court; directed and choreographed Stravinsky’s ballet-with-words ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ at the Bluecoat for the Bluecoat Arts Forum; and has danced on Granada Television. In addition he taught for a time as a supply teacher for Liverpool Corporation.
Mr Harpe left Liverpool in 1964 to direct the Cardiff Commonwealth Arts Festival with his wife, Wendy, as Assistant Director. In December 1965 he returned to Liverpool, when he took up his commission with the Cathedral Authorities.
His present commission is, without doubt, his major task to date. Although he finds his work and planning, both admistrative and creative, tends to fill virtually all the hours of his day, he manages to be a compulsive television watcher, and when he can find the time, a football fan. He describes the best choreography which he has seen recently, as the Paul Taylor Company at the Edinburgh Festival, and the North Korean World Cup Team at Goodison Park.
Drama of the Mass
Francesco Cavalli when still a boy was taken up by a Venetian patrician and brought to Venice, where having adopted his patron’s name, he was first a chorister at St. Mark’s and then second organist under the Maestra di Carpella, Claudio Monteverdi, whose pupil, friend and probable collaborator he became. He was, after Monteverdi’s death, the foremost composer of opera in Italy, celebrated throughout Europe-so much so that towards the end of his life, he was summoned, much against his will, to Paris by no less a person than Cardinal Mazarin to show the French how opera should be written. But he suffered the most ignominious failure of his career and returned to Venice ill and disillusioned, and of his many operas and the two great collections of church music virtually nothing is ever seen or heard. Yet this was the man who succeede Monteverdi as the leading figure in Italian music.
But Cavalli did publish two major collections of church music; the Musiche Sacre of 1656 and the Vesperi of 1675. Throughout his life he maintained his post at St. Mark’s and eventually became Maestro di Carpella. The Musiche Sacre was published at the height of his operatic career in twelve separate part-books, and the jewel of the collection is the great Mass for double choir, Concertata con due violini e violoncino, Ripieni e altri instrumenti se piace.
The word concertata is a stylistic indication. Two sorts of ecclesiastical music were current in Italy at this time. One was a descendent of the polyphonic music of the late 16th century, the other, often associated with separate instrumental parts, sprang from the operatic innovations at the beginning of the century and became known as the stile concertata. The more elaborate writing of the second style resulted from its main purpose which was to reflect and express the emotional import of the words, and in practice this music became associated with the more important festive ecclesiastical occasions.
The occasion for which the Mass of this collection was written is unknown, although a few years later there is an account of a great performance of a Mass by Cavalli at the Arsenal in Venice and it may well be that it was this Mass that was repeated there.
It must be accounted the largest single concertato ecclesiastical composition to have survived from the first half of the seventeenth century, and it is certainly one of the most important. Apart from the double choir of eight voices and eight solo voices, there are parts for two violins and violoncino with indications that it was originally composed for five-part strings, the normal disposition at this time and one which gives a particularly rich dark colour to the string sound. The basso continuo part is clearly for organ, very probably for two organs, placed antiphonally with the two choirs. The violoncino part is figured and clearly intended for a further harmonizing instrument. In the printer’s preface we are told that it may (apart from being used as a string bass) also serve for chitarrone, bassoon or any other instrument which can move about with velocita-such as a harpsichord. In Cavalli’s own preface, apart from the usual disclaimer of merit, there are interesting explanations of the altri instrumenti. He writes that in some of the vocal parts he has inserted sinfonie for three trombones or similar instruments, which can be left out or played at will. The trombones may also play when the whole choir is singing, but not with the soloists.
These imprecise instructions are absolutely characteristic of music of this period. The essential parts are there, the rest one adapts and composes for the circumstances surrounding the performance-the continuo players improvising and the ‘orchestra’ playing from vocal parts or manuscript, elaborating them as they go along under the control of the Maestro di Carpella. It is very far removed from the elaborate and precise scoring of our own time. The main part of the Mass is certainly there for performing, and in it the splendours of Venetian devotions are recalled in a quite exceptionally vivid and affecting manner. It would not be inappropriate to use that over-worked word masterpiece to describe it.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam: Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater, omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe; Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris: Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mudi, suscipe deprecationem nostram; qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus: Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu: in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise thee. We bless thee. We glorify thee. We give thee thanks for thy great glory. Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. Thou who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Thou who takest away the sins of the world receive our prayer. Thou who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have Mercy on us.
For thou alone art holy. For thou only art the Lord. Thou alone art most high, O Jesus Christ. With the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God in the Father. Amen.
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terra, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum.
Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero.
Genitum, non factum consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt.
Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem, descendit de caelis.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: passus, et sepultus est.
Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloriai udicare vivos et mortuos: cuius regni non erit finis.
Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre, et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas.
Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.
Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from light, true God from true God.
Begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father: through him all things were made.
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.
And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary : and was made man. He was crucified also for us : suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again according to the scriptures ; And ascended into heaven : and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord and giver of life : who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and Son is adored and glorified : who has spoken through the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua, hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, hosanna in excelsis.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Thy glory fills all heaven and earth. Hosanna in high heaven! Blessed be he who is coming in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in high heaven.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona nobis pacem.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
The 36 dancers in the company are from many countries. Contemporary dance technique is very much an American development, and four of the dancers, two Canadian and two Jamaican, have come from New York where they are on scholarships at the Martha Graham School. As well as many others from overseas, Australia, Rhodesia, South Africa, Yugoslavia, Costa Rica, Italy and India, Liverpool itself is represented by three local girls. Of the other English dancers in the company there are a number who have trained and danced with Ballet Rambert and others who trained initially with the Royal Ballet.
The company were required to have a basic ballet as well as a modern training, a task that would have been very difficult but for the recent foundation of the London School of Contemporary Dancer by Robin Howard to teach the techniques of Martha Graham in this country. The School’s help has been invaluable in making available its students, and the studio for open audition classes taken by Janet Wilks. The two techniques are represented within the company by daily classes of one-and-a-half hours each, and by guest teachers such as Madame Cleo Nordi, Robert Cohan and Anna Mittleholzer. The concept of amalgamating the two techniques in class owes much to Audrey de Vos, the only teacher in this country to have made a serious and significant attempt in this direction.
The experience of the dancers in the company covers a wide range: West Australian Ballet, National Ballet of Rhodesia, National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, The Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Festival Ballet, London Dance Theatre, Sadlers Wells and Glyndebourne, the modern companies of Jose Limon and Anna Sokolow, “My Fair Lady”, pantomime, and the “Beat Girls”.
This diversity of experience and training indicates a very liberal cross section of the dance world. It is in fact the first company to be formed in this country on the basis of a ballet and contemporary dance background and it is hoped that in this, like the Cathedral itself which is its raison d’être, it will be a landmark and a pointer to the future.
Northern Sinfonia Orchestra
Was formed as a permanent chamber ensemble six years ago in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and as in all worthwhile ventures it owes its existence to one man’s foresight and enterprise. The founder of the Orchestra was Michael Hall who also became the first musical director and conductor.
The advantages of permanency to an ensemble of this size are very great: it is inevitable that the Orchestra should draw largely for its repertoire on works of the 18th century, in which the opportunity of consistent rehearsal–day in, day out-gives to the group a chance to achieve the style and the polish particularly important in such music. In the presentation of modern music which requires intensive detailed rehearsal, the Sinfonia can work to achieve standards which only intimate knowledge of the score makes possible.
The players themselves, in spite of their youthful appearance (and ages between 21 and 25) embody a wealth of professional experience. What has drawn them to the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra is the desire to achieve the very highest standard of which each is capable, and ideals many players found suppressed in the massive but impersonal grandeur of symphony orchestras, and it is this desire, this zeal which gives the orchestra its own particular verve and personality.
John Carewe, one of the most talented of the younger generation of British musicians, was trained in London, and in Paris on a French Government scholarship. A pupil of Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, and Walter Goehr, he has devoted a major part of his time to the performance of modern music. In 1957 he founded the New Music Ensemble, and in 1959 he was awarded the Bablock prize for his work in modern music. From 1959-1961 John Carewe assisted John Pritchard and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in their Musica Viva Concerts, and in 1961 took part in a performance of Stockhausen’s Gruppen given by the Scottish National Orchestra.
In this same year he was a prize winner in the Philharmonia Orchestra’s competition for young conductors and has since assisted Otto Klemperer on a number of occasions. He has also recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble. Since 1961 John Carewe has conducted at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Leeds, King’s Lynn, and City of London Festivals, and each year has appeared in a number of the London Promenade Concerts conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra in important classics and first performances.
He has broadcast frequently for the BBC conducting music ranging from Bach and Haydn, through Schumann and Brahms, to Schoenberg and Boulez. In 1961 he was appointed Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. He has conducted most of the leading British Symphony orchestras and is now conductor of the BBC Welsh Orchestra.
The Liverpool Welsh Choral Union
The Liverpool Welsh Choral Union is acknowledged to be one of the leading choral societies in the country. It was founded in 1900, immediately following the visit to Liverpool of the Royal Welsh National Eisteddfod, and had as its first conductor Mr Harry Evans. Following his death in 1914, he was succeeded by Dr T Hopkin Evans, a most notable conductor and an eminent adjudicator and conductor of music festivals. Dr Evans’ influence on the choir was immeasurable and for twenty-five years, until his death, he continued to direct and inspire the choir.
After the war a new era in the choir’s history began. With Dr Caleb Jarvis as chorus master and Sir Malcolm Sargent as conductor, wider musical horizons were experienced. Sir Malcolm continued as sole conductor for many years until other commitments made this impossible. So, in more recent years, the choir’s performances have largely been conducted by distinguished guest conductors, but Sir Malcolm will again be conducting the choir next November in a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.
Drama of the Mass
Mass of Christ the King
La Messe du Christ Roi
Musique Concrete is music composed directly onto recording tape by the electronic distortion of acoustically produced sound. This Mass of Christ the King by Pierre Henry is therefore not a completely electronic creation but has at its starting point a choir, organ and voices speaking the prayers of the Mass. It is in fact an abbreviation of the Ordinary of the Mass – the Credo which was added in more recent times has been omitted, and it is a Mass very much of our time which takes as its theme the glorious concept of Kingship.
It is in fact the first Mass composed in this new medium, which like the Cathedral could only have been produced by the technology of the sixties. It has had all the difficulties that such innovations have – Pierre Henry’s first idea for a concerto Mass for organ and tape, had to be abandoned, such were the problems of balancing them.
Pierre Henry is no stranger to religious music. He has had a number of works performed in Paris churches, and his ballet Le Voyage is based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Born in Paris in 1927, he received a formal music training at the Paris Conservatoire National de Musique, where he studied for some ten years, notably under Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen.
In 1949 he joined Pierre Schaeffer in the experimental studio of Radiodiffusion Television Francaise, where he began to experiment in a new medium of sound expression: Musique Concrete. He became the first composer of ‘traditional’ music to take an interest in this medium. Having acquired a mastery of electro-acoustical techniques, he was, from 1950-1958, leader of the research group in Musique Concrete. Devoting his career as a composer exclusively to the new medium, he produced during this period such works as the Symphonie pour un Homme Seul (in collaboration with Pierre Schaeffer), Le Microphone bien tempere, Antiphonie and Le Voile d’Orphee
His meeting with Maurice Bejart in 1955 opened up a new phase in his career: the composition of choreographic scenes.
Among his recent ballets special mention should be made of Haut-Voltage, Orphee and Le Voyage all of which have been presented in the leading opera houses of Europe. Since leaving RTF studio in 1958, Pierre Henry has continued his researches into Musique Concrete, combining electronic and electro-acoustical techniques. In 1960, in association with Jean Baronnet, he founded the Studio Apsome in Paris, which is the first private recording studio in France devoted exclusively to experimental music.
Costume designer for the Drama of the Mass, Germinal Casado, has been a leading dancer with Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the Twentieth Century for ten years. Aged 32 and born in Casablanca he studied theatre design and trained as a dancer in Morocco and Paris.
He has danced in many Bejart/Henry ballets including Orphee and Symphonie pour un Homme Seul and designed decor and costumes for Le Voyage, Les Oiseaux and Les Quatres Fils d’Aymon which was seen at the Edinburgh Festival and on Granada TV in 1962. He has also collaborated with Salvador Dali in Un Spectacle Scarlatti.
Born in Yorkshire of Danish parents. Educated Hymers College and Hull University, Robert Ornbo is Director of Theatre Projects (Lighting) Ltd., theatre consultant and lighting designer with over 100 West End productions to his credit. His developments in scenic projection have taken him all over the world and have included three shows on Broadway. From Liverpool he goes on to ‘Three Sisters’ at the National Theatre, two new productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, a major musical and a two month tour of Canadian Theatres in the Autumn.
The beginning of dance must have been very near the beginning of time, but the art of dance known as ballet is only some five hundred years old. The development of ballet dancing in this century progressed from Russia and Diaghilev, producing choreographers like Fokine and Nijinsky, through the changes in style and teaching evolved in the companies of separate countries, to the works – very different in style but firmly based on ballet – of choreographers like Balanchine, Tudor, Bejart, and Cranko (whose work has been seen recently on BBC Television). The Central European School followed theories of Laban which as well as producing choreographers like Kurt Jooss, whose ballet The Green Table was also seen on BBC Television recently, led to the development of an educational dance and an invaluable system of notation for recording movement known as Labanotation – a system which is being used to record the two Choreographed Masses. This century’s major development was, and basically still is American. Isodora Duncan conceived a style of free movement expression with a strongly emotional base and an awareness of certain aspects of the art of Ancient Greece.
In America the line of development from this crucial beginning goes through figures like Ruth St. Dennis and Ted Shawn to Martha Graham, who evolved her own way of dancing and has made the great contribution of formalising it into a technique taught widely in America and now taught in this country. The status of Martha Graham in modern dance is not unlike that of Picasso in painting and Stravinsky in music, a living modern master, who has been succeeded by many divergent styles and developments but remains the reference and the focal point for a generation. The American choreographers Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor whose work is most relevant today both worked with Graham at the beginning of their careers. The dancing in the Metropolitan Cathedral owes nothing to Graham’s choreography but is indebted to her discoveries. If there are lines of influence, they include the simplicity and directness of American theatre dancing such as ‘West Side Story’, the statuesque elegance and detail of Indian dance, the epic cinema of Eisenstein and the motions of Contemporary Kinetic art.