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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: October ::
Videotape of Jonson's *Oberon*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 645.  Saturday, 9 October 1993.
 
From:           Thomas G. Bishop <
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 >
Date:           Saturday, 9 Oct 93 14:49:50 -0400
Subject:        Videotape of Jacobean Masque Available
 
Dear SHKASPEReans,
 
I do not know if it is proper to make these kinds of commercial announcements
on a BBS, but the following item seemed like it might be of interest to
subscribers, or to their libraries. Please pass it on to any other
interested parties who might like the information.
 
What follows is a press release designed for general readers, then an order
form. As my techincal expertise at load documents up and down is faulty, there
may be formatting errors below, for which I beg indulgence.
 
Please pass on this notice to anyone else who might be interested, including
librarians.
 
Anyone who wants more information is welcome to contact me at the address
below and I'll provide it.
 
 
Yours,
Tom Bishop
 
                Press Release: "Oberon, the Fairy Prince"
 
CLEVELAND, October 10, 1993.  Jacobean masques--the Broadway musicals of the
Shakespearean age--are rarely performed nowadays, despite their highly
entertaining mix of music, dance, and comedy.  If you missed the recent
performance of Ben Jonson's masterpiece "Oberon, the Faery Prince," performed
last March to standing-room-only audiences at Case Western Reserve University
in Cleveland, don't despair.  The performance is now available on videotape,
complete with a documentary about masques in general and this reconstruction
of "Oberon" in particular.  Included with the video is a commemorative
facsimile of the 1616 print of the masque, from a copy of the original
edition in the CWRU Special Collections Library.
 
Presented jointly by the CWRU Departments of Music, English, and Theater, and
the Cleveland State University Departments of English and Theater, the
production includes a delightful combination of solo and choral singing,
instrumental ensembles of Renaissance winds and strings, dancing, and drama.
The directors were: Barrie Rutter, Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides
and a veteran of the Old Vic and Royal Shakespeare companies, who directed the
staging; David Douglass, director of The King's Noyse of Boston, who led the
musical forces with his violin; Ken Pierce of the Ken Pierce Baroque Dance
Company of Boston, who choreographed the dances, directed the dancers, and
danced the title role; Eugene Hare of Cleveland State University, who
executed the stage sets and costumes based on the surviving drawings by Inigo
Jones for the original production.  Ross W. Duffin, chair of the CWRU Music
Department, reconstructed six missing songs, and Peter Holman, director of
The Parley of Instruments, arranged the dance music.
 
"Oberon" was conceived as a showpiece for the Prince of Wales, Prince Henry
(older brother of the ill-fated Charles I). It was performed on New Year's Day,
1611, before the King and Queen--with Henry as the lead masquer--in the
Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace. Ben Jonson's script, shows intriguing
signs of an emerging political rivalry between Henry and his father, King
James. Jonson's song-lyrics were originally set to music by Alfonso
Ferrabosco II, Prince Henry's music tutor, and the dances were composed by
Robert Johnson, a royal lutenist, who also set some of the songs for
Shakespeare's plays.
 
The characters in Oberon include a band of rollicking satyrs, led by Silenus.
Next come the fairies and ultimately, Oberon with his attendants. Others in the
cast are noted Cleveland singers Mark Duer, Coeli Ingold, Quentin Quereau, and
Janet Youngdahl. A special aspect of this production is that the layout and
dimensions of the Excelsior Ballroom are virtually identical to those of the
Banqueting House at Whitehall where Oberon was first staged, and which burned
down in 1619.
 
For more information about the videotape of Oberon, contact the Department of
Music, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH  44106-7105, phone 216-
368-2400.
 
 
VHS videocassette of OBERON:                    $ 62.50
Shipping and handling:                          $  3.00
Credit Card Surcharge:                          $  2.50
 
    __________________________________________________________________
 
Order Form
 
I would like to order ________ copy/copies of the videocassette of OBERON.
Enclosed is my check or moeny order (Payable to: CWRU) for $65.50 per
videocassette.
 
Or charge my credit card $68.00 per videocassette.
 
 
    Name ______________________________________________________
 
    Address ____________________________________________________
 
    City ____________________________________ State ______ Zip _____
 
    Telephone ___________________________________________________
 
    Visa/MC/Disc________________________________ Exp. Date ________
 
    Signature (required for credit card sales) ________________________
 
    Send this form completed with your check or money order to:
 
      OBERON Video, Department of Music, CWRU, Cleveland OH 44106-7105.
 
 
    --
    Tom Bishop
    Dept of English
    Case Western Reserve University
    Cleveland, OH 44106.(
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