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We had other problems, of a family nature, moreover, which required us to sell our London house, find another property, and move as it were both household and business during this period -- a gigantic strain which finally had us packing not only for three 12-hour days, but eventually for 24 hours non-stop, finishing just as the removal men's pantechnicon pulled up outside. (I hope this very brief sketch will persuade you that a composer does not generally have the privilege of inhabiting an ivory tower.)

As I write this, the full score has been finished for about a month, and so have the piano score and the conductor's score. The parts are currently being copied (computer technology has made life vastly easier, but nevertheless such things are not produced at the touch of a button, as is popularly believed).

Joseph Cipolla as Merlin in the 2000 BRB production of 'Arthur Pendragon'. Photo: Bill Cooper/BRB

The ballet itself is being created 'on the dancers' as the ballet world puts it, and that part is entirely out of John's hands, as, obviously are the arts of lighting, sets and costume design, represented, as with Edward II and the first part of Arthur, by Peter Mumford, Peter Davison and Jasper Conran respectively. Until the orchestral rehearsals start John will have little more input, and even then, of course, the music will be under the capable direction of Paul Murphy, the conductor. As for the ballet itself, it will be nearly as new to him as to the audience, at the première on May 9 at Sadler's Wells.

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Copyright © 24 April 2001 Monica McCabe, Kent, UK

 

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