Sean O’Boyle’s Work Finds Audiences Across the World
While Moravian’s Music Department faculty member Sean O’Boyle can’t be in two places at once, this weekend, the last one of October, his music will be.
The Australian composer and conductor was recently informed that his version of the English anthem Jerusalem will be performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, as well as played at all of England’s respective contests. The World Cup’s opening ceremony is set for Saturday, Oct. 26, in Cardiff, Wales, but O’Boyle won’t be on hand.
Instead, O’Boyle will be attending the world premiere of Conflict, Sadness, Victory, and Resolution, his new composition jointly commissioned by the Concord Chamber Orchestra (CCO) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in Wauwatosa, Wisc., located outside of Milwaukee. Conflict, Sadness, Victory, and Resolution will feature world-class soprano Suzanne Kompass, Moravian College’s artist-lecturer in voice and O’Boyle’s wife. That evening Kompass will also perform Israeli composer Rami Bar-Niv’s song cycle based on the Holocaust poetry of Jacob Barzilai, Longing for My Father.
O’Boyle, Moravian’s artist-lecturer in composition, called the selection of his version of Jerusalem “an accomplishment,” but noted that this wasn’t his nor the anthem’s first foray into sports. He also wrote the broadcast theme to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
He originally wrote the arrangement for the English cricket team to use. In fact, O’Boyle’s version was sung by two million people on Trafalgar Square following the team’s victory in “The Ashes,” a weeks-long cricket competition against Australia, in 2009. The arrangement, conducted by O’Boyle, was commissioned by the English & Wales Cricket Board specifically for “The Ashes.”
While Jerusalem’s “stirring” sound fits well into the sports arena, O’Boyle’s composition Conflict, Sadness, Victory, and Resolution deals with human conflict and the impact that war has on people.
According to O’Boyle, the composition is linked to Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars,” with a history dating back to the first World War. The work touches on the themes of several poems from English poet Rupert Brooke, Australian poet "Banjo" Paterson and William Shakespeare.
This is O’Boyle’s second world premiere in Wisconsin this year. In May, he premiered Concerto for Percussion, alsojointly commissioned by the CCO and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. O’Boyle and CCO music director Jamin Hoffman, a conductor with an extensive musical history, have enjoyed a personal and professional relationship dating back several years.
Since 1975, the CCO has offered talented, volunteer musicians the opportunity to create stimulating musical experiences for the enjoyment and inspiration of Milwaukee-area audiences.
To view the program of O'Boyle's world premiere of Conflict, Sadness, Victory, and Resolution, click here.
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