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John Drummond

Composer

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Born: 1944

Biography

John Drummond has been composing opera since his teens, fitting it in as best he can with the other demands of his University career as a music educator, opera director, opera historian, Mozart scholar, and academic administrator.

Born in Lancaster in England in 1944, he graduated from Leeds University with BA Hons (First Class) and BMus, and went on to complete his PhD at Birmingham University. He was Blair Professor of Music at Otago University from 1976 to 2014, before becoming Emeritus Professor. He has also been heavily involved in music education nationally and internationally.

John’s full-length operas include Plague Upon Eyam (a story of the Great Plague, to a text by Patrick Little), The Birds (composed to his own libretto, based on the comedy by Aristophanes), The Stars in Orion (a story of the Otago goldfields, again with a text by Patrick Little), and Larnach (the story of the builder of Larnach’s Castle). For Sirius Opera in Wellington John has composed a number of shorter salon operas to libretti by Jeremy Commons. In 2012 his oratorio The Journey Home was premièred by the Southern Sinfonia and City of Dunedin choir on the centenary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. His chamber opera The Illustrious Stranger won the 2016 Opera Factory Chamber Opera Composition Contest. His worklist also includes songs and song-cycles, piano works, and choral works.

The craft of communicative composition lies in creating sounds that say something new to people in a language they can understand.


Composed (37)

A Beleaguered City

an opera in six scenes to a libretto by Jeremy Commons


And Grandmother Played Bridge

lyrics and music for a masque from the memoirs of Nicholas Zissermann


Autumn Hath All The Summer's Fruitful Treasure

for mezzo, unison male voices and piano, 3m


Baa, Baa, Dunkelschaf

cantata after J.S. Bach, 12m


Benedictions

treble solo, SATB choir and keyboard, 5m


Bridge to Somewhere

comic opera in one act, 40m


Celebration

for SATB choir, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and organ, 17m


Chalk

music for a film by Howard Guard


Christmas Bells

Four carols for childrens' voices with piano, 9m


Cinderella

music and lyrics for a pantomime, 2h


Epithalamium

wedding anthem for SATB choir and organ, 8m


Farewell Duet/trio

For solo voice(s) and piano


Goethe's Faust

complete incidental music for parts 1 and 2


Happy Arcadia

comic opera, 25m


Impersonating Maurice

a salon opera in three scenes, 40m


La Vie En France

Theme and incidental music for educational video


Larnach

opera in two acts for voices and fifteen players


Learning Is A Way Of Life

Music and songs for a University of Otago promotional video


Marriage a la Mode

a salon opera in four scenes, 36m


Meteorological Fugue

for SATB choir, 2m


Missa Brevis

SSAATTBB a cappella choir or soloists, 15m


Mr. Polly at the Potwell Inn

opera in one act to a libretto by Jeremy Commons


Narcissus

ballet music, 20m


Ode To Music

For solo voice (or duet) and keyboard, 6m


Orlando

music and lyrics for a masque


Plague Upon Eyam

opera in 3 acts, 2h 12m


Psalm 121

for SATB choir and organ, 6m


Robin Hood

music and lyrics for a pantomime, 2h


Sonata

for oboe and piano, 8m


The Birds

comic opera in two acts after Aristophanes, 2h


The Dawning Of The Year

11 poems for Soprano, Baritone and Piano, 28m


The Hawkeyed Sentinel

opera in one act after Cervantes, 40m


The Hawkeyed Sentinel

opera in one act after Cervantes, 40m


The Journey Home

a work for soprano, tenor, baritone, choir and orchestra


The Stars in Orion

opera based on Otago goldrush story


Three Songs

for tenor with brass and percussion, 8m


Voices

for Soprano, Tenor and Harpsichord, 4m



Resources (1)