#3920: "Heresy" by Roger Doyle

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The Trial scene from Roger Doyle's opera, "Heresy"
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The story of hermetic philosopher, martyr for science, spy, playwright, and 16th Century Dominican friar, Giordano Bruno, is the subject of the new opera by Irish composer Roger Doyle called Heresy, which just premiered in Dublin. The libretto is by noted playwright and dramaturg, Jocelyn Clarke, and director Eric Fraad. 

For this special edition of New Sounds, hear a conversation (recorded on location in Dublin by host John Schaefer during the week of the premiere) with the composer Roger Doyle and the director Eric Fraaad, along with pertinent selections from the opera. Hear the delicate balance of early music fused with electronic elements in Doyle’s music, along with voices cleverly skewed towards the higher end of the vocal spectrum; there is no voice lower than a tenor. 

The centerpiece of the opera is hallucinatory episodes imagined in Bruno’s cell the night before he was executed by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines, (beliefe in damnation, in the trinity, that the bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Christ, among others.) Later historians also believe that it was his astronomical views – which extended the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, further positing that stars are distant suns that could foster life of their own, and that the universe is infinite – which also may have incited the inquisitors. 

From the opera’s program notes, “Giordano Bruno was one of the renaissance’s most brilliant and controversial figures. Burned at the stake in 1600 after a nine-year trial by the Roman inquisition, Bruno envisioned a cosmos without a centre, infinite galaxies and inhabited planets. His writings prefigured quantum theory by 350 years and influenced numerous works by Shakespeare, Molière and James Joyce for whom Bruno remained a lifelong hero.”

PROGRAM #3920, with Roger Doyle (First Aired 11-15-2016)           

ARTIST: Roger Doyle
WORK:  Overture, Act 1 [3:56], The Divine Sophia [9:01]
RECORDING: Heresy (orig. The Death By Fire Of Giordano Bruno)
SOURCE/INFO: rogerdoyle1.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Roger Doyle
WORK:  Overture - Act 2 [5:22]
RECORDING: Heresy
SOURCE/INFO: rogerdoyle1.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Roger Doyle
WORK:  The Cell - Hallucinations, excerpt 1 [5:14], excerpt 2 [7:08]
RECORDING: Heresy 
SOURCE/INFO: rogerdoyle1.bandcamp.com

ARTIST: Roger Doyle
WORK:  Death By Fire [7:16]
RECORDING: Heresy 
SOURCE/INFO: rogerdoyle1.bandcamp.com