Phyllis Tate The Lodger - Opera In Two Acts

The Lodger forms part of a select group of British stage works with a horrific or supernatural theme. In Tate’s opera, what she referred to as ‘the sinister element’ is subtle and suggested rather than exaggerated or gratuitous and moments of genuine tension are juxtaposed with other non-sensational elements such as the burgeoning romance between Daisy and Joe and the local colour of the chorus’s music hall number. The composer’s natural gift for extended, lyrical lines and her capacity to build and dispel tension assist in lending distinction to an atmospheric and cogently constructed piece of music theatre.
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“With so little of Phyllis Tate’s music being available on disc this transfer from Richard Itter’s private collection of off-air tape recordings is all the more welcome… The singers are wonderful throughout, with Johanna Peters deserving special notice as she quite effortlessly portrays the tension in her role as well as the pity. The production is very much of the 1960s. A modern version might sound quite different, and this for me makes this recording all the more valuable. The playing of the BBC Northern Orchestra, now the BBC Philharmonic, under one of the finest conductors of British music, Charles Groves, is also excellent. The documentation for this release is in the form of two booklets, one containing the full libretto, the other containing a detailed and very informative essay by Paul Conway, which gives excellent information about Phyllis Tate and her music.” Stuart Sillitoe,

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