Suite from 'A Chair in Love'

Length / year

12' - 2005


Wind Quintet

Performance history

World Premiere
Denbigh Town Hall (Denbigh Festival)
26th June 2004
Celtaidd Wind Quintet

London Premiere
St. James Church, Muswell Hill, London
10th July 2004
Celtaidd Wind Quintet

Programme note

This Suite was drawn from sketches for my opera ‘A Chair in Love’ described as "un texte original en anglais" by its French Canadian author Larry Tremblay. 'A Chair in Love' is a comic text with a fantastical story line conceived for four singers – a film director (Truman), his Dog, a Dogtor/Doctor and the Chair. In the opera Truman wakes up one morning, world weary and longing for love. He decides to fall in love with the Chair, his faithful Dog gets jealous and complications ensue. The opera was scored, unusually, for Wind Quintet. I drew the music for this Suite from preliminary sketches, each of which was titled for the opera rather in the manner of a musical theatre song.

There are five short sections as follows:

1. Where is the dog I used to be?

The Dog has become frantic with jealousy at his master's new infatuation. He visits the Dogtor who decides to x ray him

2. Hello doggy!

Truman wakes up full of the joys of spring but his manic cheerfulness is lost on the Dog

3. Chair's Lament

Truman makes a love film starring the Chair but it is a monumental flop. He rejects the Chair who responds by wanting to kill herself but 'how can a Chair die?'

4. Truman Shoots

Truman shoots his film starring the Chair.

5. Stop, Traffic!

The culminating love scene of the failed movie. Everything stops for the unlikely union of Truman and the Chair.

Listeners to this concert Suite need not concern themselves with questions of dramatic narrative, even though from time to time influences from the operatic medium assert themselves in the music. It is better rather to enjoy this ‘sneak preview’ of the opera’s music for its sense of lightness and fun.