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date: 19 November 2019

Bliss, Sir Arthur (opera) (Drummond )locked

  • Stephen Banfield

Extract

(Drummond )

(b London, Aug 2, 1891; d London, March 27, 1975). English composer of American descent Educated at Rugby, Cambridge and the RCM, the young Bliss enjoyed prominence in the Anglo-French avant garde after World War I but matured to a more expansive, Romantic outlook in the 1930s and 40s when his film scores (especially Things to Come) and four major ballets proved him a durable composer for his times. He also undertook public and educational work as a visiting professor at Berkeley, California (1939–41), director of music at the BBC (1942–4) and Master of the Queen’s Music (1953–75). His operas failed to achieve the success of his ballets, though The Olympians has not yet been given the chance of a second professional production and Tobias and the Angel, written for television, has never been staged. Both enjoy competent librettos, strong dramatic outlines and heartening music, though neither delves far into the contemporary psyche....

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