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Paul Corfield Godfrey's "Blithe Spirit" Demo Recording

It might seem that there is little new to say about the text of Sir Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, written as a light-hearted romp. But in point of fact Coward’s text has been regarded almost from the very first as open season for directors and producers who wished to adapt and alter the plot for their own reasons. When we came to consider our own adaptation for operatic purposes, we decided at a very early stage to have no truck with any of these later well-meaning adaptations other than to find occasions when the headlong plunge of the interchange between the characters could actually be slowed slightly to allow for some lyrical expansion, as well as opportunities for solo singing which could at least assume the dimensions of an arietta if not a full-blown aria. The text as set is very nearly entirely Coward’s own following his 1941 script for the play as first presented and published, merely subjected by Julian Boyce and the composer to abridgement rather than any alteration or additions.

 

This recording, like our earlier releases of music by Paul Corfield Godfrey, features soloists from Welsh National Opera, together with an orchestra drawn from live sampled performances which have been carefully balanced and adjusted in collaboration with the composer to obtain as close a result to the sound of an actual orchestra as possible, with results that Brian Wilson writing for MusicWeb International described as “completely convincing”. The work was largely written during the pandemic in 2020-21, and this recording represents its first performance.

 

Reviews of previous Volante Opera recordings of the music of Paul Corfield Godfrey have continued to garner ecstatic reviews from critics, including the following in Fanfare from Marc Medwin: “…heretofore, I have been entirely ignorant of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s work. More’s the pity…”

 

The Piece

Cast (in order of singing):

Ruth Condomine (Soprano): Rosie Hay

Edith, the maid (Soprano): Emma Mary Llewellyn

Charles Condomine (Baritone): Julian Boyce

Dr. Bradman (Tenor): Simon Crosby Buttle

Mrs. Bradman (Mezzo-Soprano): Stella Woodman

Madame Arcati (Mezzo-Soprano): Helen Greenaway

Elvira Condomine, Charles' deceased former wife (Mezzo-Soprano): Helen Jarmany

Demo Recording Information

The recording is being produced using Reaper software and is utilising the Eastwest Software/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra sampled instruments.

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