I. Romeo (Infatuation)
II. Falstaff (Womanizing)
III. Orsino (Passionate, Impetuous)
IV. Iago (Jelousy)
V. Antony (Eternal Love)
This song cycle for tenor and piano celebrates the 450th Anniversary of Shakespeare. The text of this work is based on five soliloquies on diverse aspects of love as portrayed by leading male characters from Shakespeare’s plays. The songs include “Romeo” (infatuation), “Falstaff” (the womanizer), “Orsino” (passionate and impetuous), “Iago” (jealousy), and “Antony” (eternal love). My settings of Shakespeare’s famous soliloquies are set without any reference to their original periods. They are set in quintessentially American vernacular sound, as if listeners are watching a modern American setting of each Shakespearean play. For example, I imagine Iago in a production of Othello set on Wall Street, circa 2014, in his speech plotting his jealous rage using Cassio. My Iago music features blue jazz chords and sinister funk bass in the piano, minimalistic hip-hop rhythm with dramatic tempo changes, and portamento phrasing in the vocal line. Shakespeare’s Love is intentionally operatic, giving the tenor plenty of vocal weight to act each character, supported by a vast range of orchestral painting from the piano.