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HENRY VIII (Saint-Saens) Brussels 2023



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Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: OperaVision  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs, frsubs, othersubs  
  • This Recording is NOT AVAILABLE from a proper commercial or public source
  •  
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE

Henry VIII is an opera in four acts by Camille Saint-Saëns, from a libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Armand Silvestre, based on El cisma en Inglaterra (The Schism in England) (1627) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

The action covers the period in Henry VIII’s life when the king was attempting to divorce Queen Catherine of Aragon in favour of marrying Anne Boleyn, a move rejected by the Church.

In an effort to evoke the historical context, Saint-Saëns researched English music from the period and incorporated several English, Scottish, and Irish folk melodies into his score, as well as two airs by William Byrd (c. 1540–1623), contained in The Will Forster Virginal Book (1624), the “Carman’s Whistle” and a section of a tune called “The New Medley”. He also sampled from the Benjamin Cosyn’s Virginal Book (1620), using the opening from the tune “Mr Beauins Service”, along with “Te Deum”. Henry VIII died in 1547, about 70 years before these compositions were published.

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