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Composers for RSC Rome Season announced

NEW GROUND: Mvula

THE ROYAL Shakespeare Company has announced the composers for 2017’s Spring/Summer Royal Shakespeare Theatre season.

The chosen ones will write the music for some of Shakespeare’s most political and bloody plays, set in and around ancient Rome, beginning with Julius Caesar, which opens for previews on the March 3, 2017.

Bruce O’Neil, RSC Head of Music said: “We commission new music for every production at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from some of the best composers in the business, and perform the music live.”

He added: “Shakespeare’s plays are full of music, and its importance as part of the theatrical experience in Stratford is reflected in a fine tradition of composing talent that goes back to the opening of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879.

“It’s a privilege to add Mira Calix and Laura Mvula to that list, and to welcome back Tim Sutton. I’m excited to hear what they create for our forthcoming Rome season.”

Mvula will write the music for Antony & Cleopatra (March 11–7 September) directed by Iqbal Khan.
Mvula’s second studio album The Dreaming Room was released in June 2016 to great critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2016 Mercury Prize.

This year she was also nominated for four MOBO awards, which followed her many further award-nominations and wins for her first album Sing to the Moon.

Originally from Birmingham and having studied composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire, this will be the first time Laura has composed for a professional theatre production.

Award-winning artist, composer and performer, Mira Calix, will compose the music for Angus Jackson’s Julius Caesar (March 3–9 September). Mira is renowned for her integration of visual media and technological innovation to create multi-disciplinary installations and performance. She has worked with the London Sinfonietta, the Aldeburgh Festival, National Portrait Gallery, the Manchester International Festival and The Mayor of London.

She has been the recipient of several awards including in 2009 a British Composer Award and the recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award as well as finalist for The National Lottery Arts Award 2010.

Tim Sutton is a musical director and composer for theatre and will be composing the music for Titus Andronicus (June 23–2 September) directed by Blanche McIntyre. This year he has written and arranged music for the RSC’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), and Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Shop, (BBC Radio 4 Autumn 2016).

His other musical direction includes Memphis, (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Amen Corner (National Theatre). Tim is currently writing Victory, a new musical with playwright Juliet Gilkes-Romero. He is an Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle.

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