In 2010, I co-wrote The Lover’s Knot with playwright Renee Liang as part of the 2010-2011 Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Composer Workshops, which led to a performance with actor Stuart Devenie and conductor Kenneth Young. Stuart played the role of Walter Bolton, the last man given the death penalty in New Zealand, in the hours before his execution.
Various instruments represent various characters in this story – clarinet for Bolton’s flighty paramour Florence, contrabassoon for the stench of death, and harmon-muted trombones for the justice system. Bolton’s ailing wife Beatrice is represented by extensive solos for the cor anglais. At the request of Lee Martelli, Education Manager of the APO, I excerpted one of these into a demonstration piece for an education concert.