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The Blazing Heart

Rehearsal photos of my first large song-story work for choir and soloists.  Based on a Gorky tale, the story of Danko is of a man whose people have been forced to leave their homeland and find themselves lost in a dense forest. To help lead them he takes his heart out of his chest and it becomes a brilliant light to guide them through.

Performed in Norwich, London and Aberystwyth with different choirs and soloists in each location, at first the score included a storyteller, but for the next two productions I sang the story accompanied by a drum in sections between the choir songs. The piece includes a small group of soloists so that it moves between a big choir sound, a small ensemble sound and a singing-story soloist.

Touring in Wales inside Meredith Monk’s music with members of her team in a Centre For Performance Research project, as well as watching Meredith lead that project, gave me the courage to direct and compose my own first large scale project.

“A beautiful meeting between community and professional artists that generated mutual respect and delight” Joan Mills, Director Giving Voice

Casts in three locations included
Andre Chadwick, Helen Chadwick, Sian Croose, Joanna Foster, Barbara Gellhorn, Sue Jones-Davies, Venice Manley, Joan Mills, Brigitta Roy and the Blazing Heart Choir.

This was an early choral work for soloists and choir.

Later work I created further another staged work involving soloists and a choir: The Singing Circle created for the Royal Opera House.


Photographs: Simon Richardson