The Juliet Letters
April 12, 2011
About the concert
Fear No Music and 4 favorite local singers of diverse and
varied backgrounds, Holcombe Waller, Leah Yorkston,
Stephen Beaudoin, and Angela Niederloh, will sing this haunting
of 20 songs, accompanied by Fear No Music's string quartet. The songs and
music (written by Costello and London's Brodsky String Quartet) are
based on imagined
correspondence between a Veronese academic and
Shakespeare’s most famous heroine, Juliet Capulet.
Elvis Costello wrote of the work: "Well, if it sounds like the start of a tall story I suppose it is. My wife, Cait, pointed out the tiny newspaper item about a Veronese academic who had taken on the task of replying to letters addressed to "Juliet Capulet." This apparently continued for a number of years, until some gentlemen of the press exposed this secret correspondence. Quite how he came by these letters in the first place remains unclear. We can only make a guess as to their content. After all, these people were writing to an imaginary woman, and a dead imaginary woman at that. Perhaps they were simply scholarly enquiries, or letters of sympathy from others disappointed in love, or even a plea from somebody forced into an unhappy arranged marriage. Whatever was contained in those letters and their replies, the idea of this correspondence provided our initial inspiration."