Stephen Michael Harding Oliver (10 March 1950 – 29 April 1992) was an English composer, best known for his operas.
Oliver was born in Chester, the son of Charlotte Hester (Girdlestone), a religious education adviser, and Osborne George Oliver, an electricity board official.His maternal great-grandfather was William Boyd Carpenter, a Bishop of Ripon and a court chaplain to Queen Victoria. Oliver was educated at St Paul's Cathedral School, Ardingly College and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he read music under Kenneth Leighton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson. His first opera, The Duchess of Malfi (1971), was staged while he was still at Oxford.
Later works include incidental music for the Royal Shakespeare Company (including The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby ), a musical, Blondel (1983; with Tim Rice), and over forty operas, including Tom Jones (1975), Beauty and the Beast (1984) and Timon of Athens (1991). Oliver also wrote music for television, including several of the BBC's Shakespeare productions (Timon among those), the soundtrack to the 1986 film Lady Jane , and some chamber and instrumental music.
He was a good friend of Simon Callow who commissioned the piece Ricercare No. 4 for vocal quartet Cantabile. He also composed the score for the thirteen-hour radio dramatization of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings , first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1981. The work combined a main theme with many sub-themes, all composed within the English pastoral tradition.
In Tony Palmer's film Wagner (1982–83), Oliver can be seen playing the part of conductor Hans Richter and conducting in the pit of Richard Wagner's theatre at Bayreuth.
He died (42) of AIDS-related complications in London.In 2006, Oliver's archive of original scores and papers was presented to the British Library by his family.
Oliver was a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4's light discussion programme Stop The Week . His nephew is comedian and TV host John Oliver.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Carl Maria von Weber was a German composer, conductor, virtuoso pianist, guitarist and critic who was one of the first significant composers of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas, he was a crucial figure in the development of Romantische Oper.
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).
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A leitmotif or leitmotiv is a "short, recurring musical phrase" associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme. The spelling leitmotif is an anglicization of the German Leitmotiv, literally meaning "leading motif", or "guiding motif". A musical motif has been defined as a "short musical idea ... melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three", a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: "the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity."
Timon of Athens is a play written by William Shakespeare and probably also Thomas Middleton in about 1606. It was published in the First Folio in 1623. Timon lavishes his wealth on parasitic companions until he is poor and rejected by them. He rejects mankind and goes to live in a cave.
The history of opera in the English language commences in the 17th century.
Opera in German is that of the German-speaking countries, which include Germany, Austria, and the historic German states that pre-date those countries.
George Fenton is an English composer best known for his work writing film scores and music for television. His work has been recognised with 5 Oscar nominations, multiple Ivor Novello, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and BMI Awards and a Classic Brit. He has frequently collaborated with directors, Richard Attenborough, Alastair Fottergill, Stephen Frears, Terry Gilliam, Ken Loach and Andy Tennant.
Robert Saxton is a British composer.
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