Songs and Opera

Five composers have made song-settings of Ian Emberson's poetry:

  • Gordon Dyson Moorland Pool - soprano and piano;
  • John Bartlett Peewit - baritone and piano; Sky - soprano and piano; Reflections - soprano, flute and piano; Madonna of the Rocks - soprano and alto choir, and organ or piano; and Messages from Distant Shores - soprano, tenor, clarinet, oboe, saxophone and 'cello.  First performed at Ripley in Surrey - May 2010.
  • Peter Copley Meeting and Parting - song-cycle for baritone and piano - first performed by Nigel Cliffe in 1983;
  • Daniel Bath Only My Words Can Dance - song-cycle for tenor, guitar and woodwinds - first performed by the composer in 2002. There is a version for tenor and piano.  Daniel has also composed settings for tenor and guitar of two passages from Pirouette of Earth – Spires of the Fireweed and We will hold Hands over the Darkness.  First performed at The Bear Café, Todmorden in September 2011.
  • Robin Terry Mourning Ring - song-cycle for baritone and piano of Ian's Brontë related poems.  First performed in Haworth Church in June 2011.

In addition to the above song-cycle, Daniel Bath has also composed a short opera "The Forest" to Ian Emberson's libretto, and this received its first performance at the Hebden Bridge Festival in 2003. It lasts for about fifty minutes, and has two singing parts only - baritone and soprano - taken at the opera's debut by David Heathcote and Abigail Sharp. The accompaniment is for piano, harpsichord and double bass. Being on such a small scale it could easily be put on at festivals. Contact the author if interested.