Royal Shakespeare Company: Shakespeare's Songs

Monday 13 July 2015

8pm • St. George's Guildhall • £18, Under 18s £9

Benedict Nelson baritone
Raphaela Papadakis soprano
Bruce O’Neil piano
Christopher Luscombe narrator

RSC Music Director, Bruce O'Neil and actor/director Christopher Luscombe present songs for Shakespeare’s plays not heard outside Stratford since the original productions for which they were written. This is a unique collection from composers working for the RSC since the opening of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879. The performance is set against the perfect backdrop of the largest surviving medieval guildhall in England, where Shakespeare is reputed to have performed 422 years ago.

21 of the most famous songs in Shakespeare's plays are performed in settings dating back over a century, which highlight not only the changing style and aesthetic of theatre music across the decades, but also reveal some of the fascinating biographical stories of the composers themselves.  They include well known concert repertoire such as Franz Schubert’s Who is Sylivia; Roger Quilter’s Take, O Take Those Lips Away, and Fear No More the Heat the Heat of the Sun by Gerald Finzi, that were all performed in productions at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

Also included will be settings that have not been heard since their original productions, including songs from As You Like It by Howard Blake, Ariel’s songs from The Tempest by World War II fighter pilot and film composer John Wooldridge, more recent pieces by award winning composers Paul Englishby & Nigel Hess, and many more...

Sponsored by Kate & Adrian Parker

Full Programme details below:

Franz Schubert    Who is Sylvia?
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1890s.

Liza Lehman    Tell Me Where is Fancy Bred?
From The Merchant of Venice, 1910s.

Roger Quilter     Take, O Take those Lips Away
From Measure for Measure, 1920s.

Anthony Bernard    O Mistress Mine, Come Away Death, When that I was and a Little Tiny Boy
From Twelfth Night, 1930s.

Ann Carbutt    The Willow Song
From Othello, 1940s.

Gerald Finzi    Fear No More the Heat of the Sun
From Cymbeline, 1940s.

John Wooldridge    Come Unto These Yellow Sands, Full Fathom Five, Where the Bee Sucks
From the Tempest, 1951.

Raymond Leppard    When Daisies Pied
From Love's Labour’s Lost, 1957.

Louis Applebaum     Sigh No More Ladies
From Much Ado About Nothing, 1961.

Traditional    Ophelia's Mad Songs
(Guy Woolfenden)
From Hamlet, 1970.

Guy Woolfenden    Hark Hark the Lark
From Cymbeline, 1979.

Howard Blake    Under the Greenwood Tree; Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind; It was a Lover and his Lass
From As You Like It, 1985.

Nigel Hess    When Daffodils Begin to Peer
From The Winter's Tale, 1986.

Jason Carr    Orpheus and his Lute
1990’s From Henry VIII, or All is True, 1996.

Paul Englishby    You Spotted Snakes
From A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2005.

St. George's Guildhall

King Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1EU

St George's Guildhall is the largest surviving medieval guildhall in England - boasting many original and rare medieval features. The first theatre production was in 1442 and was officially reopened after an ambitious restoration in 1951, marking the start of the first King’s Lynn Festival.

Car Parking
The nearest parking for the Guildhall is on the Tuesday Market Place or behind the Corn Exchange on Common Staithe Quay.  Please note: Charges apply 24 hours a day, including for Blue Badge holders. lease ensure you pay the correct fee.  Current charges are available on the borough council website:

There are stairs to the auditorium with access for those with restricted mobility via a stair climber.  For further accessibility information please contact the box office on 01553 764864

All of our Guildhall festival events have reserved seats.  The following seating plan is to be used as a guide only – for further details please contact the box office.

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