Michelene Wandor


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Poem-libretto for two voices, commissioned for the anniversary of the massacre of the Jews in York, 1190. Music by Malcolm Singer. St Michael le Belfrey, York, 1990.
Michelene Wandor's atmospheric libretto cleverly intertwines a variety of sources, both medieval and modern.
Yorkshire Evening Press
Miss Wandor's text, an impressionist poem based on the medieval account of the Clifford's Tower massacre, and on contemporary sources, provided the most cogent reason why several hundred of us were sitting where we were at that moment.
David Sonin, Jewish Chronicle
The imaginative text interweaves various narrative strands, through a simultaneous use of narrator, and underpinned almost continuously by a pervasive ostinato
Musical Times

Poem-libretto based on poem by John Cornford about the Spanish Civil War. Music by Matthew Linley. Oriel College, Oxford, 1993.

Samson Agonistes
Libretto based on poem by Milton, for bass voice and choir. Music by Matthew Power. Hillingdon Church, 1994.

The Indian Queen
New version of play by Dryden and Howard. Music by Henry Purcell. Fully staged production by the Kings Consort. Queen Elizabeth Hall, 1995.

Brecht and Weill: A Diversion
An entertainment in words and music. Greenwich Festival, 1995. With Janet Suzman, Janis Kelly and Julius Drake.

The Barthelemon Circle
Script to accompany performance of music by women composers, Barthelemon and Gambarini: 'The Barthelemon Circle', women composers working in London 1750-1830. London, 1999.

Who Wrote Salamone Rossi?
Script for a concert of sacred and secular music by Salamone Rossi, Jewish musician in Renaissance Mantua. Music performed by SIENA ENSEMBLE. Purcell Room, June, 2000. (See CD.)

Plain and Fancy
A portrait of Benvenuto Cellini and his century in words and music. 16th century music performed by SIENA ENSEMBLE, with script. Summer, 2001.

The Mask of Esther
Libretto for two solo voices and two choirs. Music by Malolm Singer. St Albans, 2001.

The Marriage of True Minds
A words and music fantasia on the never-before-revealed relationship between Shakespeare and a mysterious Italian musician. With songs from the plays, and Elizabethan consort music. 2003.

The Rake and the Harlot in London Town
A balladplay - a script set in the early 18th century, with songs from The Beggar's Opera and incidental instrumental music, for two performers, one singer and band. Ready for performance 2003.

Music of the Prophets:
The resettlements of the Jews in England, 1656 and all that. Original poem/text, with the music of John Hingeston, Cromwell’s Master of Musicke. Performed by SIENA ENSEMBLE. 2006.


Gardens of Eden
Play based on own poems, with music specially written by Michael Nyman. Radio 4, 1987. 40 mins. Starring Maureen Lipman and Miriam Margolyes.

Ms Wandor is one of radio's most effective writers.
A strong, haunting, often very funny piece. Jewish jokes and feminism were served up, some dazzling.
The piece as a whole seemed to me to belong not with poetry nor prose nor drama, but to that rarely attained genre, the pure radio work, like 'Under Milk Wood' or the best plays of Louis MacNeice. The style was adapted perfectly to a work of literature designed to live not on the page, but in pure sound
John Wain, Sunday Telegraph

Ben Venga Maggio
Poem-play woven round Italian carnival music from the Renaissance. Music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1990. 45 mins. Runner-up for the Innsbruck Early Music Festival Prize, 1990. Nominated for Sony Award, 1991. Nominated for Prix Italia, 1991. Starring Fiona Shaw.

The Courtier, the Prince and the Lady
Play set in Renaissance Italy, drawing on Machiavelli and Castiglione as source material. Produced by Piers Plowright. Music by Josquin and his contemporaries. Radio 3, 1990. 40 mins. Nominated for Sony Award, 1990.

Michelene Wandor's new play, set in Renaissance Italy, stirs a steamy cauldron of power, sex and politics.

The Times
A passionate, erotic and ultimately deadly love story.
Radio Times
The week's most compelling drama is Michelene Wandor's account of an evening of politeness and passion in an Italian palace at the time of the Italian Renaissance.
The Sunday Times

A Summer Wedding
Drama to frame the music written for the celebration of the wedding of Cosimo de Medici, in Florence in 1539. Produced by Graham Dixon and Piers Plowright. Music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1991. 90 mins.

Love and Friendship
Two pastoral plays by Spanish Renaissance writer and composer, Encina. Recreated with music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1992. 30 mins.

Orlando and Friends
Play inspired by Orlando Furioso, epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto. Produced by Piers Plowright. Arranged music from sixteenth century, and played by own group, SIENA. Radio 3, 1995. 45 mins.

Corridors of Light and Shadow
45-minute fantasia to evoke Mantua, past and present. Authentic, location sound, recorder music (MW), and an encounter between Henry VIII and Isabella d'Este. Producer Piers Plowright. Radio 3, 1999.


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