A monodrama for mezzo-soprano solo and chamber orchestra. The text drawn from Jean Rhys’s novel Wide Sargasso Sea. It tells the story of the first Mrs. Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre – her West Indian childhood amongst recently freed slaves; her marriage; the intolerable pressures of family and society that lead to her mental breakdown; and finally, the story we all know, the burning down of Thornfield.
The Wedding Band, which should be separately from the strings and horn, is modelled on the Mexican Mariarchi orchestras.
Forces: Mezzo-soprano solo & chamber orchestra
Orchestration: 3 fl(II+picc+afl,III+picc), 3 tpt(I+tptinD), 2 hp, pn, timp, 3 perc, str
Commissioned by the BBC.
First performance: BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Colin Davis with Meriel Dickinson as soloist on 8 December 1971, at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Duration: 33-34 minutes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
To Eric and Nancy Crozier, with great affection
Part One -Coulibri
Part Two – Thornfield