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Paul Corfield Godfrey's "The Nightingale and the Rose, The Sphinx & Hymnus Mysticus" Demo Recording
Nightingale Sample 1
Nightingale Sample 2
Hymnus Mysticus Sample

The Nightingale and the Rose, The Sphinx & Hymnus Mysticus

Press Release

Those who have enjoyed the contributions of Angharad Morgan as Lúthien and Nienor to Paul Corfield Godfrey’s cycle of epic scenes based on J R R Tolkien’s The Silmarillion (as featured on recent Prima Facie CDs) will be delighted by her assumption of the title role in The Nightingale and the Rose by the same composer. This operatic fable, based on a fairy story by Oscar Wilde, highlights the differences between the diametrically opposed perceptions of Love represented by the emotionally committed world of nature and the artificial monetary valuations of society. The text draws entirely from Wilde’s original, without any additions from other sources, and lasts around three-quarters of an hour. It features other 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 originally written in 1976 but, apart from excerpts, has not been performed complete before now; the recording was originally scheduled for the composer’s seventieth birthday in 2020, but has been delayed by the recent pandemic.

To complete the CD we also present a further setting of Oscar Wilde in the shape of verses extracted from his narrative poem The Sphinx; and a short cantata entitled Hymnus Mysticus based on poems by Aleister Crowley, another writer of the era whose unconventional lifestyle resulted in ostracism and exile. The booklet includes an essay by the composer and complete texts of all the works.

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…I am eager to enter again into this lush, sometimes harsh and epic universe of tone and word-painting.”

Cast and Creative


Cast (in order of singing):

The Student (Tenor): Simon Crosby Buttle

The Nightingale (Soprano): Angharad Morgan

The Green Lizard/The Yellow Rose Tree (Baritone): Julian Boyce

The Butterfly/The White Rose Tree (Mezzo): Helen Greenaway

The Daisy/The Red Rose Tree (Bass): Jasey Hall

The Beloved: Sophie Yelland

Chorus: Paula Greenwood/Emma Mary Llewellyn/Sophie Yelland/Helen Greenaway/Simon Crosby Buttle/David Fortey/

Julian Boyce/Jasey Hall


Baritone Solo: Julian Boyce

Chorus: Angharad Morgan/Emma Mary Llewellyn/Sophie Yelland/Helen Greenaway/Simon Crosby Buttle/David Fortey/

Julian Boyce/Jasey Hall


Soprano Solo: Emma Mary Llewellyn

Baritone Solo: Julian Boyce

Chorus: Angharard Morgan/Emma Mary Llewellyn/Sophie Yelland/Helen Greenaway/Simon Crosby Buttle/David Fortey/

Julian Boyce/Jasey Hall

Production and engineering:

Volante Opera Productions ©2022


Music published by:

Zarathustra Music ©2022


Artwork by:

Kimbo ©2022



Oscar Wilde & Aleister Crowley


Booklet and notes:

Volante Opera Productions and Paul Corfield Godfrey ©2022


All artists appear by arrangement with Welsh National Opera

For more information and analysis please visit the composer's website (link at the bottom of this page)

Demo Recording Information

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

The main parts are all be recorded using different professional singers with some doubling.

The Chorus was recorded two per voice part which accommodates the splits in the parts.  Each of these voices, due to the limited space and equipment, is recorded individually and post processed to fit with the others.  This is the method we use when creating learning tracks for choirs, as it gives us the opportunity to isolate parts and fix problems without having to have everyone back to re-record.

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