VULCANUS (Doctor of Music Composition Portfolio by Avril Kinsey)
A dramatic and romantic narrative ballet in 2-Acts and 4-Scenes (c. 60 mins) set on the Spanish volcanic island of Tenerife where the mysterious and powerful Fire God, Vulcanus and Sea Goddess, Leukothea reside. The story and composition by Kinsey is scored for orchestra with guitar and soprano.
The story in brief
One man caught in a love triangle pursues his personal desires by making a powerful pact with Vulcanus, the God of Fire and Volcanoes. Granted the power to dance like a dazzling virtuoso, it is his misuse of this power, which eventually leads to his downfall and that of the islanders. Only the power of love and acceptance, as personified by the Sea Goddess Leukothea, can restore the island’s blessings once more.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Alexander Fokkens performed the Vulcanus Overture, September, 2015, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic conducted by Naum Rousine performed the opening movement, November 2014.
What the critics say of the music
“Overall this is an impressive work that deserves live performance … the orchestration demonstrates a sound knowledge of the craft … the dramatic purpose is secure and compelling.”
Professor Philip Grange, University of Manchester, UK.
“Vulcanus displays great energy, with orchestration and polyphonic writing that displays real flair … it also displays some very delicate writing, and conveys a real sense of drama … with a flamboyant finale.”
Dr Seán Clancy, Birmingham City University.
The Vulcanus cast
Vulcanus (Fire God, and the spirit of duende in Spanish dance)
Lukothea (Sea Goddess, who aids sailors in distress)
Pelagia (The romantic female lead, whose name means dweller by the sea)
Janus (The male romantic lead, a sailor and Pelagia’s lover)
Ignacius (Pelagia’s ambitious and jealous Spanish dance partner, whose name means fiery)
Sombrero de Cordoba (Flamboyant dance director)
Margarita (Pelagia’s tipsy friend and Sombrero’s secret admirer, her nickname – the famous drink)
Padre Juan (The Priest)
The Corps de Ballet
Vulcanus’ Flames: 6 striking red-hot female dancers who obey Vulcanus’ every command
Lukothea’s Dolphins: 2 male & 2 female dolphins (or puppet-style dolphins) who follow the loving instinct of their mistress
Corps of male and female dancers for the Spanish dance troupe and townsfolk
Nereids: students and children as sea nymphs, clams (3), sea-weed (3), shrimps (2) or other suitable sea urchins and sea creatures
Original story, characters and libretto – Avril Kinsey
Music composition and Orchestration – Avril Kinsey
DMus Music Supervision – Professor Hans Roosenschoon
Dance Timings and advice – Robin Van Wyk, Cape Town City Ballet
String bowings and score proof-reading/conductor – Allan Stephenson
(created digitally using Sibelius Notation Software and sampled sounds from the Yamaha DGX 620 library)
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THE OPENING SPANISH DANCE REHEARSAL (Act 1 Scene 1) – Avril Kinsey
BENEATH THE WAVES (Act 2 Scene 1) – Avril Kinsey
VULCANUS & IGNACIUS FIGHT SCENE (Act 1 Scene 2) – Avril Kinsey