Guy Anthony Woolfenden OBE (12 July 1937 – 15 April 2016 ) was an English composer and conductor.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
Woolfenden was born in Ipswich and educated at Westminster Abbey Choir School, London, and Whitgift School, Croydon. He studied music at Christ's College in Cambridge and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1961 and was Head of Music from 1963 to 1998. He was Artistic Director of the Cambridge Festival from 1986 to 1991.In 1995 he was a founder director of the English Music Festival which became the Stratford on Avon Music Festival. He was the Chairman of the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, a charity which supports young musicians and actors. He was the founder of the publishing company, Ariel Music. Woolfenden married Jane Aldrick in 1962 and they had three sons.
Ipswich is a large historical town in Suffolk, England, located in East Anglia about 66 miles (106 km) north east of London. It is also the county town of Suffolk. The town has been continuously occupied since the Saxon period, and its port has been one of England's most important for the whole of its history.
Westminster Abbey Choir School is a boarding preparatory school for boys in Westminster, London and the only remaining choir school in the United Kingdom which exclusively educates choristers. It is located in Dean's Yard, by Westminster Abbey. It educates about 30 boys, aged 8–13 who sing in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, which takes part in state and national occasions as well as singing evensong every day and gives concert performances worldwide. Recent tours include to America, Hungary and Moscow. Other tours have included Australia, America and Hong Kong. The school is one of only three choir schools that educate only the male trebles of the choir, the others being Saint Thomas Choir School in New York City and Escolania de Montserrat in Spain. The headmaster is Jonathan Milton, former headmaster of The Abbey School, Tewkesbury. The organist and master of the choristers is James O'Donnell, former Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Woolfenden conducted three productions with the Scottish Opera, as well as the first British productions of Nielsen's Saul and David, Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans and Liszt's Don Sanche .
Scottish Opera is the national opera company of Scotland, and one of the five national performing arts companies funded by the Scottish Government. Founded in 1962 and based in Glasgow, it is the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland.
Carl August Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.
Woolfenden composed many pieces for wind bands, chamber ensembles and orchestral works, many of which have been recorded.
He composed around 150 scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He worked with many major European theatre companies, including the Comédie-Française, Paris; the Burgtheater, Vienna; the Teatro di Stabile, Genoa; and the Norwegian National Theatre, Oslo.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs over 1,000 staff and produces around 20 productions a year. The RSC plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally.
Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι.
The Comédie-Française or Théâtre-Français is one of the few state theatres in France and is considered the oldest active theatre in the world. Established as a French state-controlled entity in 1995, it is the only state theatre in France to have its own permanent troupe of actors. The company's primary venue is the Salle Richelieu, which is a part of the Palais-Royal complex and located at 2 rue de Richelieu on the Place André-Malraux in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.
He also composed music for films such as Work Is a Four-Letter Word (1968) and the 1968 movie version of A Midsummer Night's Dream , as well as the 1974 television version of Antony and Cleopatra .
Work Is a Four-Letter Word is a 1968 British satirical comedy film starring David Warner and Cilla Black, in her only acting role in a cinematic film. The film, which directed by Peter Hall, was not well received by critics even though it was based on the award-winning play Eh?. It also marked the acting debut of Elizabeth Spriggs.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1968 film of William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Peter Hall.
Antony and Cleopatra is a 1974 videotaped television production of William Shakespeare's 1606 play of the same name, produced by ATV starring Richard Johnson as Mark Antony, Janet Suzman as Cleopatra, and Patrick Stewart as Enobarbus. It was directed by Jon Scoffield and is an adaptation of Trevor Nunn's Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production of the play. It features then-little-known Ben Kingsley and Tim Pigott-Smith in small roles.
His 1977 musical adaptation of The Comedy of Errors won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
He was awarded the OBE for his services to music in the New Year Honours List in 2007.
Stratford-upon-Avon, commonly known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles (146 km) north west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.
Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes is an English actor, film producer, and director. A Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage at the Royal National Theatre.
The Stratford Festival is an internationally renowned repertory theatre festival which operates from April to October in the city of Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Founded by local journalist-turned-producer Tom Patterson, the festival was formerly known as the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, the Shakespeare Festival and then Stratford Shakespeare Festival before changing to the current name. Theatre-goers, actors, and playwrights flock to Stratford to take part — many of the greatest Canadian, British, and American actors play roles at the Stratford festival. It was one of the first and is still one of the most prominent arts festivals in Canada and is recognized worldwide for its productions of Shakespearean plays.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) is a 1,040+ seat thrust stage theatre owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company dedicated to the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is located in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon – Shakespeare's birthplace – in the English Midlands, beside the River Avon. The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres re-opened in November 2010 after undergoing a major renovation known as the Transformation Project.
Dusty Hughes is an English playwright, director and screenwriter of television. In the early seventies he was Theatre Editor of Time Out and helped to establish that magazine’s theatre coverage as an alternative voice. He then joined the Bush Theatre as Artistic Director and with Simon Stokes and Jenny Topper developed it as a venue for new writing and directed new plays by Snoo Wilson, Tony Bicat, Julia Kearsley, Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Barker, Ron Hutchinson and Ken Campbell.
Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall, CBE, was an English theatre, opera and film director. His obituary in The Times declared him "the most important figure in British theatre for half a century" and on his death, a Royal National Theatre statement declared that Hall's "influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled".
Roger Rees was a Welsh actor and director, widely known for his stage work. He won an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his performance as the lead in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He also received Obie Awards for his role in The End of the Day and as co-director of Peter and the Starcatcher. Rees was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in November 2015.
Michael Vivian Fyfe Pennington is a British actor, director and writer. Together with director Michael Bogdanov, he founded the English Shakespeare Company in 1986 and was its Joint Artistic Director until 1992. He has written ten books, directed in the UK, US, Romania and Japan, and is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Michael Bogdanov was a Welsh theatre director known for his work with new plays, modern reinterpretations of Shakespeare, musicals and work for young people.
David Threlfall is an English stage, film and television actor and director. He is probably best known for playing Frank Gallagher in Channel 4's series Shameless. He has also directed several episodes of the show. In April 2014, he portrayed comedian Tommy Cooper in a television film entitled Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This. In 2014, he starred alongside Jude Law in the thriller Black Sea.
Bruce Dow is an American-Canadian actor, best known for his four featured roles on Broadway, his 12 seasons in leading roles at the Stratford Festival, his Dora Mavor Moore Awards-winning performances at Buddies in Bad Times, the world's largest and longest running LGBTQ theatre, his voicing the character of Max for Total Drama Pahkitew Island and his appearances on the Rick Mercer Report and Murdoch Mysteries.
Steven Charles Pimlott was an English opera and theatre director, whose obituary in The Times hailed him as "one of the most versatile and inventive theatre directors of his generation". His output ran the gamut of the theatrical and operatic repertoire, from musicals, such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and popular plays, such as Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, through classics such as Shakespeare and Molière, to Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George and Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor.
John Newport Caird is an English stage director and writer of plays, musicals and operas. He is an honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a regular director with the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Principal Guest Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm (Dramaten).
Richard Digby Day is a British stage director and international professor and lecturer. He is particularly well known for his work in the classical theatre, and is considered to have a special penchant for the plays of William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. He is vice president of the Shaw Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and has staged more productions of Shaw's work than any other living director. His productions of Stephen Sondheim musicals have also been notable.
David Hugh Jones was an English stage, television and film director.
The Comedy of Errors is a musical with a book and lyrics by Trevor Nunn and music by Guy Woolfenden. It is based on the William Shakespeare play, The Comedy of Errors, which had previously been adapted for the musical stage as The Boys from Syracuse by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and George Abbott in 1938. The London production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1977.
Richard Cottrell is an English theatre director. He has been the Director of the Cambridge Theatre Company and the Bristol Old Vic in England, and of the Nimrod Theatre in Sydney, Australia. He has also directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Chichester Festival, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, the National Theatre of Portugal, and other theatre companies around the world.
A Shakespeare festival is a theatre organization that stages the works of William Shakespeare on an ongoing basis.
Kelly Hunter is a British film, television, radio, stage and musical actress, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She is a Laurence Olivier Award nominee and Radio Academy Award and TMA Awards winner.