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Mark-Anthony Turnage in 2014
Mark-Anthony Turnage in 2014

Blood on the Floor is a suite in nine movements composed for orchestra and jazz trio by Mark-Anthony Turnage (pictured). It was composed between 1993 and 1996, during which Turnage's brother died of a drug overdose, causing drug culture to be one of its main themes. It is also influenced by the paintings of Francis Bacon and Heather Betts; the title is an adaptation of Bacon's Blood on Pavement. The composition has been described as being part of the third stream genre and is written as a concerto grosso featuring a blend of classical, jazz, non-western and electronic instruments. It contains space for soloists to improvise in four of its movements. The suite shows elements of non-functional harmony and has complex rhythmic changes, often changing metre every bar. Motifs recur throughout the work. It was premiered in London in May 1996, and received a mixed reception from critics. Some enjoyed the suite's fusion of classical and jazz music, while others found it to be an unfulfilling combination. (Full article...)

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Costume design for three roles in Les Huguenots

Les Huguenots is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. One of the most popular and spectacular examples of grand opera, it sets a French-language libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps and premiered in Paris on 29 February 1836. This watercolour illustration shows the costume designs by Eugène Du Faget for the first performance of Les Huguenots. The three roles depicted and the premiere cast, from left to right, are Marguerite (Julie Dorus-Gras), Raoul (Adolphe Nourrit) and Valentine (Cornélie Falcon).

Illustration credit: Eugène Du Faget; restored by Adam Cuerden

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