Vic Hoyland

Crazy Rosa – La Madre

There is a sample of this work on the Angela Tunstall's Media page on her site.

for mezzo-soprano and 8 players

Text: drawn from “The boss knows 3000 words but the Workers only One” by Dario Fo, translated by David Hirst

Fl (+afl) cl (+bcl) – 2 perc – hp,pf – va, vc

Commissioned by Lontano

30’ 00’ duration 1988

1st Performance


…dramatic shape has always been one of Hoyland’s strengths, in his instrumental as much as his theatre pieces, and “La Madre” moves in a beautifully proportioned curve; the switches between the vocal modes are finely calculated and the textures full of his spiky rhythms and edgy, potent sonorities.
Andrew Clements, Financial Times

It is finely wrought, glinting, sparingly written music, emotional without being effusive, and with an aptly Italianate flavour. There are memorably striking passages, such as the very opening, which has the sudden energy of an uncoiled spring; and the protagonist’s quiet sung interludes are touching.
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

Linda Hirst keeps up a torrential flow of English and Italian both sung and spoken, centres the performance on vocal and facial expression – as a primarily music feat of virtuosity it needs only the minimal of staging to make its impact.
Robert Maycock, The Independent

It is a virtuoso vehicle, which Hirst performed with total commitment … the sounds were piercingly well imagined, sharp-edged and rugged as in the best of Hoyland’s music.
Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer

Linda Hirst and Angela Tunstall gave their all for this demanding work, last performed at the Cheltenham Festival with BCMG and John Carewe.

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