Photo Sylvain Marchou
Roger Steptoe is considered to be one of the most respected British musicians of his generation. A composer with an international reputation, his catalogue of works includes chamber music, concertos, song cycles and instrumental sonatas. [more..]
Roger Steptoe compte parmi les musiciens britanniques les plus respectés de sa génération. Compositeur de renommée internationale, son catalogue comprend des œuvres de musique de chambre, des concertos, des cycles vocaux et des sonates instrumentales. [plus..]
Roger Steptoe is currently composing his second opera, As You Like It, to a new libretto by Lesley Fernandez-Armesto. Commissioned by the University of Notre-Dame in Indiana, US, it is based on the famous Shakespeare comedy of the same name.
The world premiere performances are scheduled for late April 2016 – the year the world will acknowledge the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. The Patricia George Decio Theatre at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre-Dame is the prestigious venue. Notre Dame's head of opera, tenor Mark Beudert, is the director and John Apeitos the conductor. The opera will then receive further performances in a new production at Eugene Opera, Oregon, in October 2016.
Steptoe's first opera was King of Macedon to a libretto by Ursula Vaughan Williams. It dates from 1979 and was the fruits of his three years as the first Vaughan Williams Composer-in-Residence at Charterhouse School, Godalming, UK, funded by the RVW Trust.
"Indeed with only a first hearing so much proves memorable, and with such a richly imaginative score behind him the world lies open for this industrious and gifted composer, only 26, already with choral and orchestral music, song-cycles and a string quartet to his name."
The Daily Telegraph, 20 October 1979.
"His score is never monotonous but splendidly varied in pace, colour and texture. He writes rewardingly for the voice. His scoring, particularly for woodwind, is masterly, with many solos and obbligatos given to individual instruments."
Opera, December 1979.
Remaining faithful to the sequence of events of the original, set in modern times and with all the sung words being Shakespeare's, the new opera has been recast in two Acts with 12 scenes. The principal cast list is as follows :
Rosalind – mezzo soprano
Celia – lyric soprano
Orlando - tenor
Oliver - baritone
Audrey - contralto
Touchstone – light tenor
Jaques - baritone
Adam – bass
Duke Senior – bass baritone
Duke Frederick - baritone
Charles, the wrestler – bass baritone
Professor Le Beau – spoken rôle
The work is scored for flute (doubling piccolo), oboe (doubling cor anglais), clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, tenor trombone, timpani, percussion (one player), harp, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello and double bass. Apart from the main singing rôles As You Like It has a singing and non-singing chorus as well as a number of smaller acting parts. The plot and characters have been severely pared down to the basic story-line. The first Act centres on the two Dukes, Rosalind and Celia, Jaques, the sparing Oliver and Orlando, the wrestling match and the eventual leaving of the court for the forest. With Act 2 we arrive in the forest with Duke Senior already ensconced with his friends and courtiers. Rosalind (disguised as a man) and Celia arrive, meet Audrey and Touchstone, are discovered by Orlando who is saved from a lion by Oliver and find letters pinned to trees. All ends in happiness.
Roger Steptoe is the first composer to have used Shakespeare's As You Like It as the basis of an opera. The work will be published by Editions BIM in Switzerland.
Roger Steptoe has lived in Uzerche since 1998. As Artistic Director of this celebrated chamber music festival in this medieval hilltop Limousin town he has programmed the 9th edition entitled Musique sans frontières.
Centred on Sibelius' 150th anniversary of his birth the festival takes as its starting point composers from 19 countries worldwide who represent their country in music. The young Finnish composer, Outi Tarkiainen, and Finnish soprano Sanna Heikkinen will be in residence supported by the Finnish Arts Council in Helsinki and MES Finland. They are joined by Belarusian cellist, Ivan Karizna, Japanese violinist, Fuki Fujie, French accordionist, Vincent Lhermet, South Korean pianist, Da-Hee Kim, British clarinetist, David Campbell, French pianist, Paul Beynet, Quatuor Calient, Quatuor Arod, and Welsh baritone, Jeremy Huw Williams. Pianist Benoït Quiniou will host the annual Meet the Composer event. The ever-popular Festival Off is set to attract another record crowd of 700 locals, tourists and children with concerts and events in cafés, restaurants and hotels. Khalil Rezigat will lead a workshop for children entitled The eight suns of Laos.
For the sixth year running the festival is in partnership with the Fondation d'entreprise Banque Populaire in Paris.
Information on festival-musique.uzerche.fr
Facebook or from the town's Tourist Office on +33 (0) 55 5 73 15 71.
For the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, Steptoe has set four of Shakespeare's sonnets to music. The world premiere took place on May 23rd 2014 with the Welsh baritone, Jeremy Huw Williams, the Orchestra of the Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, conducted by the orchestra's Artistic Director and chief conductor, David Curtis. Steptoe gives a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm.
The Welsh premiere is also with Jeremy Huw Williams. The Welsh Chamber Orchestra with Anthony Hose, conductor, will perform the sonnets on May 29th 2014 in the closing concert of the Beaumaris Festival in North Wales. Roger Steptoe gives a Festival Plus One Talk at 3pm in the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club, Beaumaris.
The work will also be available in a voice and piano version. Performances by Jeremy Huw Williams planned to date in the late Autumn of this year include Florida, Los Angeles and Aberdeen. Both versions are to be published by Editions BIM.
For all current performance details of the voice and orchestral version see this PRS page.
A 2013 PRS for Music Foundation Award goes to Roger Steptoe
Alongside Judith Weir and Sally Beamish, Brian Irvine and Robert Jarvis, Evan Parker and Stan Sandell, Roger Steptoe is one of eight UK composers, ensembles and organisations to win a covetted PRS for Music Foundation Award.
The Beyond Borders award is open to all forms of music and its aim is to stimulate the creation and performance of new music across the four UK nations - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In total 38 nominations were received for 2013.
The offical PRS press release is downloadable here
A detailed descriptive is downloadable on the PRS Music Foundation website here.
Roger Steptoe was featured in a two-page article in the monthly Brive Magazine in February 2014.
Steptoe’s latest brass work was premiered by the New York Chamber Brass at the prestigious Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York State on Thursday 15 May at 4pm. This 11-minute work for two trumpets, horn and tenor trombone is dedicated to the memory of British composer, Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012).
A new one movement 8-minute work will be published Editions BIM in July 2014.
The premiere is scheduled for May 2015 in a recital to be given by Michael Matthes on the newly-restored organ at St Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, New York. This will be opening concert on this refurbished instrument. The French premiere will be at La Madeleine, Paris, followed by Troyes Cathedral.
With more than 13 new works already in print with this international Swiss publishing house, two further works are about to see the light of day. The Toccata for organ was written for Michael Matthes, organist at the Cathedral of Troyes, France. It is available on his most recent recital CD Xxème. The Motet for Stephen – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me – is for SATB and organ.
The Four Shakespeare Sonnets for baritone and string orchestra are now available in full score. Parts can be hired from Editions BIM.
|All of Roger Steptoe's recent music (2003 onwards) is published exclusively by the Swiss publishing house, Editions BIM. All enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
||All other works of Roger Steptoe continue to be published by the UK publishing house, Stainer & Bell, London, UK. All enquiries to Caroline Holloway. email@example.com|
For more information and to buy copies of the works mentioned on this website you are respectfully asked to contact the publishers concerned. Please see the works list for full details.