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A Brontë museum worker is arranging a rare performance of a little-known opera version of Wuthering Heights.
Charissa Hutchins will stage a large extract from the epic adaptation of Emily Bronte’s famous novel in Haworth this spring.
She and her team of young professional opera singers are focusing on the final act of Bernard Herrmann’s 1951 work. They will portray the dramatic return of Heathcliff to the Haworth moors where he discovers Cathy, the love of his life, has married Edgar Linton.
The performance, on April 18, will be only yards from the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Proceeds will be split between Manorlands and the museum’s acquisitions fund.
Charissa is a museum assistant at the parsonage and believes it will be the first time such a large amount of Herrmann’s opera has been performed in the UK.
Herrmann, born in 1911, was an American composer best-known for writing music for Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles movies, Psycho, North By Northwest and Citizen Kane.
Charissa wanted to organise a charity opera evening in Haworth, and while looking for material discovered the score of Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights in the Brontë Parsonage Museum library.
She said: “I read the whole of it and thought ‘this is amazing’. I got hold of the soundtrack and I was inspired to do a huge chunk. It’s only been performed in America and Germany. Herrmann was a huge Brontë fan and wrote music for Orson Welles’s film of Jane Eyre in 1946. He visited Haworth.”
Charrissa, a soprano, will be joined on stage by opera singers Sally Mitchell, Leon Waksberg and Phil Wilcox, plus local rock singer Yvonne Gillson. With Yorkshire pianist Gordon Balmforth, the group will perform light opera classics before the final act of Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights.
“It’s the most dramatic part of the opera and will make the most sense to an audience. Cathy has married Edgar, and Heathcliff walks into a scene of domestic tranquillity and causes uproar.”
Everyone is giving services for free. “Fifty per cent of proceeds will go to the museum in memory of Bernard.”
Wuthering Heights is at the Old School Rooms, Haworth, on April 18, at 7.30pm. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book tickets. (David Knights)
At the heart of the myth that surrounds the Brontës is Branwell’s painting of his three porcelain-skinned sisters, their unflinching gazes locked on another world. Branwell – the failed artist, poet and scholar of Greek; the sacked railwayman, dismissed tutor, disgraced debtor and local drunk – initially included his own likeness and then painted himself out with a pillar.
His outline, standing between the figures of Emily and Charlotte, glimmers on the canvas like a ghost, turning the image into a striking self-portrait. The Brontës’ feckless brother, with his childlike frame and carrot-coloured hair, started fading away in his own lifetime and has remained spectral ever since. “I know only,” Branwell wrote the year before he died, “that it is time for me to be something when I am nothing.” There was, recorded Charlotte, an “emptiness” to his “whole existence”.
Sanctuary is a noble if not altogether successful attempt to bring Branwell back into focus, to imagine what it is for a vivid imagination to lose its power. Set in 1848, when he was 31 and in the last year of his life, the novel falls into 50 brief chapters in which, speaking in the first person, Branwell gives us minutely observed scenes. He discusses social “progress” with packmen on the hills (“People like you and me, we are the men pushed aside”); he drinks with his friends; he is ticked-off by his family (“Father blames your drinking”); he debates European politics with Emily (“The French never settle. One thing always leads to another”); he dodges his creditors; beds down in inns and fields and on the kitchen floor; he dreams of the time he visited Hartley Coleridge; he fantasises about his (unconfirmed) affair with Lydia Robinson, the wife of his employer; and he sets alight the bed he shares with his father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë. (Frances Wilson) (Read more)
What seems to me more extraordinary is that [Harper] Lee has published just one novel until now. How many others have done this? Even Homer wrote two. Oscar Wilde with Dorian Gray, but he wrote plays and poems. Emily Brontë with Wuthering Heights but she probably intended to write more had she not died so young. (Arifa Akbar)
1847: How depressing would it have been to get drunk with the Brontë sisters? I have a great fondness for Charlotte Brontë’s book, “Jane Eyre”. But it is her younger sister Emily who gave the world the ultimate story of love gone bad, “Wuthering Heights”.
The story revolves around Heathcliff and Catherine. They love each other, but Heathcliff is poor and Cathy does not have the fortitude to love a stable boy---a damn shame she never saw “The Princess Bride”. Catherine agrees to marry the wishy-washy Edgar Linton. Heathcliff runs away.
When Heathcliff returns, he is wealthy. Edgar and Catherine are married and have a daughter, Cathy. Edgar’s younger sister Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff, who marries her only to exact revenge on Edgar and Catherine. Ain’t love grand?
Cathy dies. Isabella goes into hiding with her and Heathcliff’s son, Linton. Years later, Heathcliff, still angry at being slighted, kidnaps Cathy and forces her to marry the weak-willed but sadistic Linton, who is her first cousin.
There is a very thin line between love and hate. Have we not all been tempted with revenge o’er a former lover who wounded us? But, really, Heathcliff is sociopathic monster. All of that pain and anguish because of a shallow, spineless girl who wanted to move up socially. But that is the real face of love: rejection and regret. (Harry Caines)
Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
A cancelled wedding, preexisting marriage, and possible illegitimate child seem like reasons enough to keep away from a man--but not for Jane Eyre. [...]
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
Catherine and Heathcliff's is the ultimate story of a love doomed to fail.
It's hard to go wrong with a gorgeous scarf, especially a creative one. This particular scarf is printed with a passage from Jane Eyre.
Find it at Uncommon Goods. (Kristen Droesch)
Damian Barr, author and host of The Literary Salon
I always cry at Wuthering Heights.
Nel vostro libro citate una pluralità di autori che magari possono anche sembrare molto distanti tra loro (Jane Austen e Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk e Charlotte Brontë, per fare qualche esempio): cosa possono avere in comune?Biography has selected '10 Sexy Films Before 50 Shades of Grey'. One of which is
B: Secondo me hanno in comune l’abilità a raccontare una storia: ognuno di loro, con uno stile diversissimo, mette in piedi un mondo immaginario che funziona, che avvince. I loro personaggi sono credibili, hanno fatto scattare in noi un’empatia - da lettori, prima di tutto. Li abbiamo scelti anche perché crediamo nella pluralità delle voci, nel fatto che uno stesso messaggio può arrivare con più o meno facilità a seconda di come è comunicato. Gli autori che abbiamo scelto, per me, hanno proprio questa bravura nel comunicare sensazioni e narrazioni. Hanno una bella “voce”, distinguibile dalle altre.
M: La capacità di creare quel rapporto unico e personale che si ha tra autore e chi legge (lettore/lettrice). Appunto. Questo è anche uno dei principi alla base della libroterapia. Certo, noi abbiamo fatto scelte specifiche, filtrate attraverso il nostro gusto personale, che proponiamo alle lettrici de "L'amore si impara leggendo" proprio per seguire un percorso di lettura. La nostra è una proposta che può anche stupire, ma se ci si pone in maniera aperta e disponibile, si possono trovare molti punti in comune tra King e la Austen. Al di là del gusto personale e dell'imprinting letterario. Leggere è anche sinonimo di libertà e "concedersi" di rompere alcuni meccanismi autolimitanti, proprio in questo ambito, favorisce un percorso di cambiamento. Anche per questo io e Beatrice non facciamo distinzione tra Letteratura di seria A e B, Pop o Classica. (Translation)
Wuthering Heights, 1992A few days ago, we read the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey was described as 'Charlotte Brontë with a peacock feather'. Well, here are a couple more descriptions of the film:
There are several film versions of Emily Brontë’s book, but this one captures all the drama and darkness of the original story. Well-born Cathy (Juliette Binoche) and orphaned servant Heathcliff (Ralph Fiennes) share a wild, tormented passion on the English moors, and Heathcliff just might be the original jealous, brooding leading man in romance fiction. (Jessica Murphy)
It’s Jane Eyre with ropes. (David Edelstein, from Vulture)ABC (Spain) comments on a recent party given by football player Cristiano Ronaldo after his team lost a match.
It’s Wuthering Heights with whips (Johanna Schneller, from The Globe and Mail)
Y le vituperan aficionados que se quedaron esa noche en casa bordando escudos de «petit point» como si fueran las hermanas Brontë. (Hughes) (Translation)The Vine jokes about the fact that 'BitTorrent [will] release its own TV series with BitTorrent Originals'.
Watch this space for Pirate Bay's new webseries based on the novels of the Brontë sisters and set in an undersea lab in the 1960s.