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Rachel Portman and The Little Prince

Donald Macleod joins Rachel Portman to chat about writing her opera The Little Prince and working with children.

Donald Macleod joins Rachel Portman to chat about writing her opera The Little Prince and working with children

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

During the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, composer Rachel Portman was still very busy composing film scores. During this period she wrote one of her own favourite works, The Cider House Rules. Portman received a letter from an American soldier telling her that throughout his time working abroad, he would listen at night to her music from this film, to give him peace of mind. Portman found herself getting pulled more and more into films, working with legendary directors such as Robert Redford, yet she craved for something different and so turned her attention to composing an opera for children. The Little Prince was written to appeal to both adults and children, and it was Philip Glass who recommended Rachel Portman for the project.

Augie's Photos (Smoke)
Studio Orchestra
Jonathan Schaeffer, conductor

The Cider House Rules (excerpts)
John Lenehan, piano
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Junuh sees the field (The Legend of Bagger Vance)
Andrew Crowley, trumpet
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Final Salute (Hart's War)
Studio orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Opening Credits (The Human Stain)
John Lenehan, piano
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

The Little Prince (Act I: The Businessman; The Lamplighter; We Light our Lamps)
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Pilot), baritone
Joseph McManners (The Little Prince), boy soprano
Timothy Robinson (Lamplighter), tenor
Richard Suart (Businessman), baritone
Vocal Ensemble
Children's Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell, conductor

What If All This Is A Dream? (The Manchurian Candidate)
Studio Orchestra
Theodore Sperling, conductor
Michael Kosarin, conductor
Lucas Richmond, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Rachel Portman

    Augie's Photos (Smoke)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: Jonathan Schaeffer.
    • Smoke Soundtrack.
    • Polydor.
    • 4.
  • Rachel Portman

    Homer Leaves Orphanage (The Cider House Rules)

    Performer: John Lenehan. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Cider House Rules Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 5.
  • Rachel Portman

    Abortion (The Cider House Rules)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Cider House Rules Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 131.
  • Rachel Portman

    End Credits (The Cider House Rules)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Cider House Rules Soundtrack.
    • 18.
  • Rachel Portman

    Junuh sees the field (The Legend of Bagger Vance)

    Performer: Andrew Crowley. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Legend of Bagger Vance Soundtrack.
    • Chapter III Records.
    • 8.
  • Rachel Portman

    Final Salute (Hart's War)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • Hart's War Soundtrack.
    • Decca.
    • 1.
  • Rachel Portman

    Opening Credits (The Human Stain)

    Performer: John Lenehan. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: David Snell.
    • The Human Stain Soundtrack.
    • Lakeshore.
    • 1.
  • Rachel Portman

    The Little Prince, Act I: The Businessman - The Lamplighter - We Light our Lamps

    Singer: Teddy Tahu Rhodes. Singer: Joseph McManners. Singer: Timothy Robinson. Singer: Richard Suart. Ensemble: Vocal Ensemble. Choir: Children'S Chorus. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Conductor: David Charles Abell.
    • The Little Prince Soundtrack.
    • Sony.
    • 13.
  • Rachel Portman

    What If All This Is a Dream? (The Manchurian Candidate)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: Lucas Richmond.

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