Tavener, John (opera) (Kenneth)
- Hugo Cole
(b London, Jan 28, 1944). English composer. He studied at the RAM (1961–5) with Lennox Berkeley and David Lumsdaine. His cantata Cain and Abel, which won the Prince Rainier of Monaco prize in 1965, shows signs of Stravinsky’s influence. In later works such as The Whale (1965–6), the Celtic Requiem (1969) and Ultimos ritos (1969–72) Tavener developed a highly personal style, in which mystical and ritualistic elements play a significant part. The music of the Russian Orthodox church, of which he is a member, has influenced him and can be discerned both in more recent concert works and in the operas.
His only large-scale opera, Thérèse (1973–6), stems from the same creative roots as the later concert works and resembles them in making bold use of the apparatus of music theatre and in its overriding concern with spiritual matters. His one-act chamber opera ...