THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM POLICE BAND, conducted by RICHARD WASSELL ,
THE story of the escapades of the libertine
Don Juan , who was finally delivered over to the Evil One. was treated operatically by Mozart in a half-comic, half-tragic spirit. Don Juan was described as a ' Comic Opera,' but the dramatic elements were never absent for long.
There is a story of Mozart's composing the Overture the night before the Opera was produced, his wife keeping him awake by telling him fairy tales ; but that anecdote is probably a fairy-tale. It is quite likely, however, that he only completed his sketches of this part of the music within a day or two of the production.
The Overture reminds us of the sombre side of the story of Don Juan. Its slow Introduction utilizes themes associated in the Opera with the statue of the man he has murdered (which comes to life and drags him down to hell). The atmosphere of strangeness and fear is created by striking, yet simple, means.
The main body of the Overture suggests the Don's delight in amorous adventure. At the end, the excitement dies down, and the way is prepared for the serious events of the Opera's First Act.
A Short Play by J. A. W. SHEPHERD
The Characters concerned are :
The action of this play takes place early in the sixteenth century, during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
The Commander of the Spanish forces was the famous General Cortez. who was received peaceably by Montezuma. ruler of Mexico. Later, both Cortez and his soldiers behaved with such debauchery and treachery that much warfare ensued under the most savage and merciless conditions.
The principal city in Mexico was Aztec, the tribe of that name being the most powerful in Mexico.
The play concerns the treatment by the Aztee priests of a Spanish officer taken in the act of violating their most sacred altar.
Produced by HOWARD Rose
' WITCH-WIFE '
By MICHAEL HOGAN and MABEL CONSTANDUROS
In the kitchen of Stonecroft Farm, on the Devonshire moors, in the year 1697, twelve years after the Monmouth Rebellion, Grannie Mallorn is pottering about preparing the supper at the faggot fire. From outside come the noises of the farmyard, and a child can be heard laughing and calling.
Produced by MICHAEL HOGAN
A High Priest of Aztec:
A Captain in the Army of Cortez:
A Sen-ant of the Temple:
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