A new work by Mark Simpson
Manchester International Festival presents the world première of The Immortal, a new work for orchestra and chorus by one of Britain’s brightest young composers, Mark Simpson.
Inspired by John Gray’s book The Immortalization Commission, Simpson’s work explores the obsession with death that lies at the heart of the human experience.
Drawing on the so-called ‘Cross Correspondences’, the extraordinary scripts of a series of séances undertaken in the first decades of the 20th century, this oratorio portrays the crisis of faith experienced by Frederick Myers, president of the Society of Psychical Research. Myers’ attempt to prove the existence of an afterlife was made more poignant by his own desperate hope of reuniting with the love of his life, whose untimely death haunted both his life and his work.
Mark Simpson has worked with librettist Melanie Challenger to create The Immortal, which will be performed by the BBC Philharmonic, EXAUDI and Manchester Chamber Choir with solo baritone Mark Stone. The Immortal will be complemented by a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, the composer’s poignant and prescient anticipation of his own death.
Conductor Juanjo Mena
Director James Weeks
Manchester Chamber Choir
Chorus master Justin Doyle
Soprano Ruby Hughes
Mezzo soprano Clara Mouriz
Tenor Steve Davislim
Bass baritone Jochen Kupfer
Librettist Melanie Challenger
Baritone Mark Stone
For the latest edition of the MIF podcast, composer Mark Simpson introduces his new work The Immortal, with librettist Melanie Challenger and Simon Webb, of BBC Philharmonic.
Running time: 1 hr 40 mins
Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.
Supported by MIF Commissioning Circle and Sky Academy Arts Scholarship.