“My crown is in my heart, not on my head; not decked with diamonds and Indian stones, nor to be seen: my crown is called content, a crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.” (Shakespeare: Henry VI Part 3)
I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new project created for the #DigitalOriginals series by the Canada Council for the Arts and scheduled for release this fall.
#mycrownisinmyheart, an original operatic video art creation, is both a product of and a reflection on life as a freelance musician in the context of a global pandemic. A veiled reference to the etymology of the coronavirus, arising from its crown-like ring of surface proteins, this quote from Shakespeare’s King Henry VI evokes the lasting impression this pandemic has etched on our collective psyche and marks the Shakespearean connection to the unique world of Thierry Tidrow’s composition “The Cause of Thunder”. A 2017 commission for solo countertenor written during a self-imposed isolation, this work provides an ideal starting point for operatic performance in the context of a global quarantine: taking as its inspiration the blurring of identity and gender often associated with the countertenor voice, “The Cause of Thunder” snakes its way through the soliloquies of Hamlet, King Lear and Prospero in a monologue that is once disorienting and yet strangely lucid and moving. The instability and constant shifting of reality evoked by this piece serve as a highly poignant expression of my own condition during the pandemic, where weeks melt into each other, the tasks of daily life seem to be oftentimes overwhelming, and one’s state of mind can quickly turn from quiet hopefulness to severe anxiety or protracted depression.
Over the next several weeks, I will be releasing short excerpts of my ongoing work on my blog page as well as via IGTV, culminating in the full release later this fall. You can make sure not to miss a post by finding me on instagram, twitter and facebook (links below) and by following the hashtag #mycrownisinmyheart.
This project was made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts as part of their #DigitalOriginals initiative.