Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Yorkshire Evening Post announces the upcoming Northern Ballet performance of Wuthering Heights in Leeds, part of the West Yorkshire Playhouse Brontë season:
The production has been choreographed by Northern Ballet’s artistic director, David Nixon. The adaption of Wuthering Heights will be staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from September 6 to 10 launching the theatre’s Brontë season. It is set to an original score by celebrated composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, who is known for his West End and Broadway hits, including Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. Mr Nixon said: “Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is not a novel that you read and put back on the shelf. “It is a story that absorbs you, creating powerful imagery that stays with you long after you turn the last page. “In my adaptation of this timeless tale, I have brought to life the key elements of the narrative, focusing on the intensity and devastation of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff.”
The last episode of the new season of Channel 4's Great Canal Journeys (August 31th, 20.00h) will feature Haworth. On WhatsonTV:
On their final trip of the series, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are transported into their own pasts as they revisit the Yorkshire of their origins (Tim was born in Bradford, where Pru’s mother also lived).
They’re travelling along the 200-year-old Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which takes them through the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales.
Along the way the couple make a diversion to see the Brontë sisters’ home in the village of Haworth, have to hold on tight over the steepest lock staircase in Britain, meet Huddersfield-born poet Simon Armitage and explore the model village of Saltaire.
Another alert. In Birmingham, this October the premiere of John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera. Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today says:
From its first publication in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre has inspired innumerable theatrical interpretations for both stage and screen. To mark the 200th anniversary of Brontë’s birth in 2016, and in anticipation of British composer John Joubert’s 90th birthday in 2017, Kenneth Woods and the English Symphony Orchestra will premiere Joubert’s opera based on Brontë’s first and most popular novel. Jane Eyre will receive its world premiere in a concert performance on 25 October 2016, at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre in Birmingham. The SOMM label will be on hand to capture a live recording which is scheduled to be released in March 2017 to coincide with Joubert’s birthday.
Joubert’s Jane Eyre has been over two decades in the making, yet the seeds were sown as far back as 1969, when the composer penned his song-cycle Six Poems Of Emily Brontë. He became drawn into the world of the Brontë sisters and, perhaps inevitably, Jane Eyre. The result is a major operatic work with “a score of translucent beauty – Joubert’s undoubted magnum opus,” comments conductor Kenneth Woods. For the premiere, soprano Katherine Manley will portray the title character and baritone David Stout – who previously collaborated with Woods on a SOMM recording of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen – will take on the role of Rochester. They will be joined by a full supporting cast. The librettist is Kenneth Birkin, a post-graduate student of Joubert’s at Birmingham University whose Ph.D. focused on the libretti of Strauss’s post-Hofmannsthal operas. (...)
Kenneth Woods remarks, “In Jane Eyre, John has created something very special – an opera based on a literary masterpiece in which the music is not only worthy of the original text but seems absolutely of and from it. Joubert emerges in this score as both a great literary and great musical mind. It’s astonishing that a work which is the crowning achievement of a composer as revered and important as John Joubert has had to wait almost two decades for a premiere performance and recording. The English Symphony Orchestra and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this historic project in partnership with Siva Oke, SOMM’s owner and the Executive and Recording Producer of Jane Eyre,” says Woods. “It was due to Siva’s enthusiasm for Joubert’s music that the idea of recording Jane Eyre was born.” SOMM Recordings had previously recorded 80th and 85th birthday tributes to John Joubert, the second of which consisted of first recordings of his three String Quartets with the Brodsky Quartet.
Siva Oke says, “I first heard John Joubert’s music 10 years ago when pianist Mark Bebbington played his Lyric Fantasy based on themes from the love scene between Jane and Rochester in Act 2 of Jane Eyre. I was stunned by the beauty and lyricism of the music. When we recorded it, as part of John’s 80th birthday celebrations, Christopher Morley described it in his liner notes as luminous and radiant and I couldn’t agree more.”
Bustle asks authors Carla Neggers and Brenda Novak about the dyanmics of suspense and romance:
Carla Neggers: Brenda, I’d love to get your take on the challenges and opportunities of the stand-alone romantic suspense novel versus a romantic suspense series? While Liar's Key the sixth book in my Sharpe and Donovan series, I’ve also written stand-alone romantic suspense novels. Do you have a preference?
Brenda Novak: Somehow I missed Mary Stewart, but I read Jane Eyre when I was nine or 10 and absolutely loved it. Iconic for its dark, gothic tone, it’s a great example of how a little mystery and danger can enhance a good romance. I was biting my nails at the mysterious sounds in the night, the fire and the shocking discovery of the hidden woman, which then, of course, further complicated the romantic conflict. I see it as a textbook example of what I was saying before—that the romance and the suspense need to enhance each other. I've loved stories that mix these elements ever since. (Cristina Arreola)
Slate has an article on Anthony Trollope's characters:
I don’t know whether university English departments still fill up with earnest young women who hope that they’ll learn something about life and love from Victorian novels, but mine did. Make no mistake, we had inklings of how misguided we were. My friends and I engaged in long conversations about how our favorite 19th-century authors portrayed girls like us: So many of George Eliot’s heroines practice a form of ecstatic renunciation while the ordinarily shrewd Jane Eyre seems oblivious to what Mr. Rochester’s past behavior suggests about him as a future husband. Scrutinizing the way classic fiction depicts women has become one of the well-worn grooves of scholarship, but I often think, looking back, that we’d have been better served by a bit more critical attention to how those books portray men. (Laura Miller)
411Mania lists the best songs of the 70s. Number one is:
The was no question which track was going to top my list. Kate Bush is royalty in my neck of the woods (South London, in the UK). Local chain restaurants have her lyrics and quotes adorning their walls (that’s not a joke) and there has always been a certain pride in the fact that these working class suburbs – famed for their lack of culture and distinct identity – could deliver the most uniquely demented and willfully intellectual art-pop sensation of the 70s. So influential is Bush, that comparing female pop and rock stars to her has become a cliché that journalists simply cannot avoid. She inspired and continues to inspire an endless array of artists and – quite remarkable – despite the repetition of her themes, the imitation hasn’t blunted Bush or “Wuthering Heights”. (David Hayter)
Women's Agenda talks about the financial situation of women:
Austen is writing at a time in history when a man really was a financial plan. In fact, marrying well was virtually the only financial hope a woman had. Austen herself – who never married – lived with her widowed mother and unmarried sister on the charity of her wealthiest brother. Her books didn’t really earn her much money until after she died, but at least they were an attempt at supporting herself. The Brontës were forced to hire themselves out as miserable, resentful governesses, until the success of Jane Eyre gave them some independence. (Jane Caro)
Los Angeles Review of Books talks about the recent Dickens Universe conference:
Robyn Warhol, a specialist of 19th-century seriality, gave the closing lecture on her project of collating sections of Victorian novels in the order they were originally published. Like a lot of Victorian novels, it’s online and it’s compelling on even just a glancing level. If you squint hard enough, it looks like Wuthering Heights is giving birth to The Communist Manifesto!!!
El Universal (Venezuela) interviews the actress Michelle de Andrade, Catalina in the upcoming Venezuelan adaptation of Wuthering Heights:
-¿De qué manera piensa preparar este nuevo personaje? ¿Cree que necesita alguna educación adicional?
-En este momento estoy participando en una miniserie de cinco capítulos inspirada en la novela Cumbres borrascosas, pero mucho más actualizada. Allí interpreto el personaje de Catalina, una mujer bastante fuerte  que día a día me consume en todos los sentidos. Termino agotada. Así que al terminar, necesito unos días de relajación y meditación que me ayuden a deslastrarme de la intensidad de Catalina. Quizá me vaya a la playa para volver a ser yo y retomar la inspiración que me llevará a este nuevo rol. También me gustaría hacer un curso de actuación, porque lo cierto es que me están tomando en cuenta para personajes más adultos y necesito profundizar mi educación en la materia.
-Catalina es un personaje sumamente dramático...
-Es la protagonista del clásico universal escrito por Emily Brontë, que está adaptando VIP producciones. Es una mujer enérgica, caprichosa y egoísta. Todavía no sabemos qué canal transmitirá el proyecto. (Gabriel Guzmán Lacruz) (Translation)
Disappore (Italy) talks about the Fictious Feasts series by Charles Roux:
Il pessimo sapore del pasticcio di carne mangiato in collegio dalla piccola Jane Eyre nell’ omonimo romanzo di Charlotte Brontë è impresso indelebilmente nella memoria della protagonista, che lo ricorda con immutato disgusto. Roux edulcora questi ricordi con una immagine gradevole e rassicurante. (Nunzia Clemente) (Translation)
Dolci & Parole (Italy) interviews the author Chiara Giacobelli:

Dicci il titolo di un libro e il perchè lo consiglieresti a tutti.
Cime tempestose” di Emily Brontë, perché si parte sempre dai classici e per ricordarci che deve esistere un prolungamento di noi stessi all’esterno, altrimenti per quale ragione saremmo al mondo? (Translation)

Carrie Frye blogs on Longreads about  'The Summer Break Where Charlotte Brontë Started Jane Eyre; Nthepa Segade reviews Wuthering Heights; JennRa (in Spanish) vlogs about Jane Eyre; Tazzina di Caffè (in Italian) reviews Villette; eloiseisreading posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Finally, would you like to see how Charlotte Brontë's 'Thackeray' dress will travel from Haworth to New York? Check out the Brontë Parsonage Facebook Wall.


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