On Monday, April 1 at 730 pm, the VSO Faculty Recital Series and Erato Ensemble present William George & Michael Park in a programme of contemporary music for voice and piano.
Songs of Exile, Experience & Execution features 21st century music that is dramatic, moving and thought-provoking.
The concert opens with the North American premiere of renowned South African composer Peter Klatzow’s “Songs of an Exile.” The poems by political prisoner Dennis Brutus reflect his time as a prisoner on Robben Island and his exile to London (another island) after his release.
William George’s own “Songs of Experience,” set to poems by William Blake, arrange the poems to create a story of a child’s difficult life from birth to early death.
Canadian composer Andrew Staniland’s “Execution Songs” is a tour de force setting of the folk ballad “The Maid Freed From the Gallows.” The doomed protagonist is visited by a succession of loved ones but none of them have the money to free the convicted felon.
The concert takes place at Pyatt Hall inside the VSO School of Music at 843 Seymour Street. Admission is $20 or $10 for students (including all VSO School students).
William George is a versatile performer, equally at home in the world of classical, musical theatre, and pop music.
He has performed leading roles with many international musical organizations, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City Operas, and festivals and concerts in Canada, Hong Kong, Finland, England, Sweden, Germany, the Philippines, and Carnegie Hall.
A specialist in contemporary music, Will has worked closely with many respected composers, including Michael Tippett, Barry Truax and Marga Richter. He recently received rave reviews for his performance in Peter Maxwell Davies’ “Eight Songs for a Mad King” with Nu:BC Ensemble. His recordings include “EAST,” with guitarist Michael Strutt, and a collection of songs by Marga Richter, both released on the Redshift label. Will is also the lead singer of the roots-rock band Horse Opera, which released their debut album “Nothin’ To Lose” in November 2017.