Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Last week I was fortunate enough to spend some time in St Ives, Cornwall, visiting the home and studio of sculptor Barbara Hepworth, and looking around the superb centenary exhibition at the Tate. Hepworth, who tragically died in a fire in 1975, drew much of her inspiration from the worlds of music and drama.

In particular, she designed the London set for Sophocles' Electra in 1951, and she executed both the costumes and the stage design for Michael Tippett's ground-breaking first opera, The Midsummer Marriage, which premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 27 January 1955. Meirion Bowen has written about this particular collaboration.

As an aside, both Tippett and Hepworth were influences on the musical development of composer Priaulx Rainier, some of whose chamber works are available on Redcliffe Recordings.

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