Composer – Matthew Pollard
Director – Bill Bankes-Jones
Producer – James Turnbull
Heather Cairncross (alto)
Lawrence White (baritone)
Set in the 1960s, our anti-heroine, Vanessa, sits alone in her bedsit, knitting and thinking. Her diary tells us the story of her isolation from the changing West End around her. Drug-fuelled orgies to which she isn’t invited, music that she can’t groove to, fashions that she can’t afford; all conspire to cross her stitches. Knit one… Purl one… With a needle in one hand, yarn in the other, there is only one way to cast off this confusing world.
“This opera was always intended to leap from the page, to have sharply-characterised characters and music. It is a combination of high-Romantic opera and the modernist satire of Weill and Stravinsky. Universal themes of loneliness and isolation are contrasted with moments of black humour, and my music mirrors this in diversity of style and expression.”
“Matthew Pollard’s The Diary is a sophisticated, unusual, sardonic chamber opera with a wonderful Roald Dahl-like sting in the tail.”
Composer and Director of The Shout vocal ensemble, Orlando Gough
These performances were an opportunity to see the piece in its late stages of development before its 2009 premiere and UK tour. For more information on the company or this opera please visit www.matthewpollardmusic.co.uk
BIOGRAPHIES (as of 2008)
Matthew Pollard – Composer/Musical Director
Born in Yorkshire, Matthew studied composition and conducting at the University of Huddersfield and holds a Doctorate in Musical Composition from the University of Sussex, where his supervisor was Prof. Martin Butler. He now works on a freelance basis as a composer, arranger, conductor and teacher. His works have been performed nationally, by ensemble such as Lontano (conducted by Odaline de la Martinez), Paragon Saxophone Quartet, RNCM Brass Band, London Gay Symphony Orchestra, and Adam Bushell / Tom Norrell percussion duet. He has also worked with vocalists including Heather Cairncross and Hazel O’Connor, for whom he arranged backing vocals. His conducting appointments include Musical Director of both Rainbow Chorus and Hangleton Brass Band, and conductor of Tacet contemporary music ensemble. In education, he has worked as a lead composer for the SPNM/Sound Inventors project and as an associate tutor at the University of Sussex.