“A Wartime Correspondence”: ABC Radio Broadcasts Special on Durrell-Miller Friendship

Henry Miller & Lawrence Durrell, Corfu (1939)

Radio Australia/ABC has announced the upcoming broadcast of a special program highlighting the friendship of Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller:

From 1935 – 1980 Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller sustained one of the most lively and remarkable literary correspondences in modern history. This program dips into these letters. They’re raunchy, sexist, insightful and competitive. They also reflect how different these two writers were in their reaction to WWII. One ran away, while the other stayed and found a new depth in his experience of life.

Henry Miller is best known for his notorious, and for a long time banned, Tropic of Cancer. Lawrence Durrell, on the other hand, is remembered for his intriguing Alexandria Quartet which made a splash in literary and bohemian circles in the 1960s and ‘70s. The first and most famous of these four novels Justine was depicted in 1986 by Brett Whitley, who painted his wife, Wendy, sprawled on Bondi Beach in a blue bikini reading the book Justine through dark sunglasses.

A Wartime Correspondence–Lawrence Durrell & Henry Miller is written and narrated by David Green, who spoke with two Durrell specialists Ian MacNiven and Michael Haag, as well as Durrell’s step daughter – Joanna Hodgkin.

Durrell 2012 congratulates David Green on the upcoming broadcast of A Wartime Correspondence, and we look forward to hearing these interviews with our friends Ian MacNiven, Michael Haag, and Joanna Hodgkin.  Well done, David!

A Wartime Correspondence is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday, 14 April 2013 at 1:05PM. (AEST = 10 hours ahead of UTC.)

Full broadcast and production details can be found at Radio Australia/ABC.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biography, Corfu, Durrell 2012 Event, Henry Miller, Joanna Hodgkin, Lawrence Durrell, Uncategorized

“For All the Water Living in the Clock”: Sappho CD Release Marked with Special Broadcast.

Toccata Classics has just released a new CD recording of Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ opera Sappho (TOCC 0154-55).   

According to the CD release notes,

Sappho, the last grand opera of Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90), was written in her stone cottage on Mykonos in 1963.  Never heard before this recording, Sappho reflects Glanville-Hicks’ fascination with the orient and folk music, encapturing the colours of ancient Greece, with a heroic brass fanfare and epic writing for chorus, haunting woodwind solos and shimmering percussion evoking the stillness of crystal island waters.  Deborah Polaski, who creates the role of the disenchanted Sappho, describes it as ‘the kind of music that singers want to sing’.  The libretto, based on Lawrence Durrell’s verse-play, incorporates fragments of Sappho’s own verse.

Jennifer Condon (Owls Nest OperaHamburg State Opera) conducts an all-star cast and the Orquestra Gulbenkian for the performance.

The cast of Sappho includes:

Deborah Polaski, soprano: Sappho
Martin Homrich, tenor: Phaon
Scott MacAllister, tenor: Pittakos
Roman Trekel, baritone: Diomedes
Wolfgang Koch, bass-baritone: Minos
Sir John Tomlinson, bass: Kreon
Jacquelyn Wagner, soprano: Chloe/Priestess
Bettina Jensen, soprano: Joy
Maria Markina, mezzo soprano: Doris
Laurence Meikle, baritone Alexandrian
Coro Gulbenkian, choir
Orquestra Gulbenkian, orchestra
Jennifer Condon, conductor

Liner notes for the Toccata CD of Sappho – including full cast photos and Durrell’s libretto – can also be found online.

For who can measure peace of mind,
or halve the world of pleasure
for all the water living in the clock.

– from Sappho: Opera in Three Acts (Lawrence Durrell: librettist; Peggy Glanville-Hicks: composer).

In related news, ABC Classic FM has announced that its Sunday Opera program will mark the CD release with a special broadcast of Sappho in its entirety:

‘Sappho’ by Peggy Glanville-Hicks

Jennifer Condon conducts the first complete recording with Deborah Polaski in the tile role.

Broadcast 7:00pm, Sun 04 Nov 2012

Presented by Simon Healy

Peggy Glanville-Hicks [set] Sappho – Opera in three acts to a libretto taken from Lawrence Durrell’s play in verse with additions from Bliss Carman’s ‘Sappho – One Hundred Lyrics’ (1963)

As part of ABC Classic FM’s Australian Music Month and coinciding with this year’s 100th anniversaries of the births of both composer and librettist, tonight’s opera is a world premiere broadcast. Originally commissioned by San Francisco Opera as a vehicle for Maria Callas, Sappho had never received a complete performance until the Australian-born conductor Jennifer Condon’s decade-long dream was fulfilled earlier this year in Lisbon.

Listeners can access the 4 November 2012 program  online via the ABC Sunday Opera website.

Durrell 2012 heartily congratulates Jennifer Condon, Owls Nest Opera, and Toccata Classics on the release of the new Sappho CD!

Leave a comment

Filed under Durrell 2012 Event, Durrell in the News, Lawrence Durrell, New Publications, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Sappho, Uncategorized