"Listen attentively to folk songs- they are mines of the most beautiful melodies, and from them we can learn the characteristics of the nations" - Robert Schumann
The Nobleman's Wedding is a folk opera by Pamela Morgan; a musical play with most of the melodies and much of the story line taken from the oral tradition of Newfoundland and Labrador. (NL) It represents the rich musical legacy of our ancestors, and the life's work of one of its foremost interpreters.Dr. Pamela Morgan has been learning and arranging NL ballads for forty years, concentrating on the more rare and obscure treasures with their timeless truths and intricate modal melodies. The concept to weave them together to form a cohesive piece originated in the early 80s, and over the years the play has been developed and produced by both Rising Tide Theatre and Stephenville Theatre Festival.Dr. Morgan now has a fully realized and notated libretto and score for piano, leads and chorus, and is seeking production partners for orchestration and further development. The goal is to eventually mount a full scale production with orchestra and chorus, followed by a four- part television mini series.
Newfoundland and Labrador is exceptional in the world for its rich oral traditions. The popularized melodies heard in downtown bars only begin to scratch the surface of the vast wealth of hauntingly beautiful traditional modal melodies, intricate stories and fine rich language passed down through generations of our forefathers and mothers from Ireland, England, Scotland, and France. Dr. Morgan has made it her life's work to learn as many of these melodies as she could; to get to know the people who sang them, to immerse herself in the way of life which perpetuated them. She has a firm grasp on the language and the music, and The Nobleman's Wedding will provide a vast library of choral arrangements of our own indigenous music to be enjoyed by singers, choirs and audiences for generations to come. The arrangements can be enjoyed within the context of the play, or separately, as a suite of NL folk songs.
This is our own music; the melodies come from all over Newfoundland and Labrador, via our ancestors from Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. At the same time, Morgan is striving to create a product that is universally competitive with a potential for production in any part of the world. The folk song stories contain eternal truths- this is the reason they have survived throughout the centuries.
"The Nobleman's Wedding has haunted my dreams for many years. Many of the melodies I've used in the play exist only in my memory or in dusty collections, have never been recorded or arranged, and represent the gifts bestowed upon me by the elders of a vanishing breed. It is my privilege to be a keeper of this legacy, and my duty to give it the respect it deserves. I can think of no vehicle more fitting than The Nobleman's Wedding to showcase, orchestrate, perpetuate and share these riches so generously shared with me." - Pamela Morgan
From Stephenville Theatre Festival's 2014 production of The Nobleman's Wedding / Directed by Lois Brown / Photo byKip Kaus / Costume design by Keith Roberts / Set design by Karl Simmons / Projection and light design by Brian Kenny / performers l-r- Tara Manuel, Johnathan Silver, Matthew Payne, Emily Ramsdale, Erica Anderson, Stephen Tracey, Marigold Benoit, Brad Aucoin, Kevin Carey, Dave Panting, Ben Dunphy.