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Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play

greg stephens 11 May 10 - 02:44 PM
greg stephens 13 May 10 - 01:10 PM
wysiwyg 13 May 10 - 10:35 PM
Emma B 15 May 10 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Dawn B 15 May 10 - 11:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 May 10 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,andrew 15 May 10 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,andrew 16 May 10 - 04:15 AM
greg stephens 18 May 10 - 03:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 10 - 03:59 PM
Emma B 18 May 10 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:44 PM

An interesting angle on a fabulous subject, this press release looks very promising:

THE JUBILEE SINGERS BY ADRIAN MITCHELL adapted for radio by Celia Mitchell
BROADCAST ON BBC RADIO 4 : SATURDAY 15TH MAY 2010 AT 14.30
The play stars London black gospel choir NITROVOX, with musical direction by Felix Cross and Allyson Devenish and a stellar black cast ; Adjoa Andoh, Felix Dexter, Nadine Marshall Tanya Moodie,Alibe Parsons Clive Rowe and Ray Shell are joined   by Jonathan Pryce , for whom Mitchell wrote the play.
THE STORY
The premiere of playwright and poet Adrian Mitchell's drama about   the   extraordinary Jubilee Singers from Fisk University Nashville, who in the years immediately after the abolition of slavery brought their great sorrow songs   to Europe.
The late Adrian Mitchell, who died suddenly last year, was a much loved and revered poet, playwright and human rights campaigner. He was inspired to write this play with music by the true story of the Welsh journalist who toured with the black American Jubilee singers from their University, founded to provide education and a future for black students, in their first European tour in the late nineteenth century, when they brought their Sorrow Songs and Spirituals to the rest of the world for the first time since the abolition of Slavery. The singers enchanted Queen Victoria, and the now iconic song Swing Low Sweet Chariot was heard in England for the first time when they sang it to packed concert halls throughout the country. Mitchell's play was conceived for the theatre but it has not yet had a stage production; this is its premiere; adapted for radio under the guidance of Adrian's widow Celia . The play stars London black gospel choir NITROVOX, with Musical directors Felix Cross and Allyson Devenish and a stellar black cast ; Adjoa Andoh, Felix Dexter, Nadine Marshall Tanya Moodie,Alibe Parsons Clive Rowe and Ray Shell are joined   by Jonathan Pryce who plays the Welsh journalist who is captivated by a completely new kind of song, and hears each singer's own story and begins to be entranced by them, though he experiences the inevitable barriers which nineteenth century culture placed between men and women of different race. The director is Marilyn Imrie for Pacificus Productions


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:10 PM

Refresh: it's on Saturday


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 May 10 - 10:35 PM

Love to have a link to the "listen again" option if and when it comes up-- does that part (4?) of the Beebian Empire do that?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: Emma B
Date: 15 May 10 - 09:54 AM

Listening right now - excellent!
It should be available on listen again soon


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: GUEST,Dawn B
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:28 AM

I just caught the tail end of the show while driving my car. I can't wait until it comes on again so I can hear the whole thing. Really enjoyable listening.


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 May 10 - 05:56 PM

It'll be on BBC iplayer - but I don't know if that works for Americans. I don't think it does for TV, but it might for radio.


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 15 May 10 - 06:05 PM

Radio works in Australia. Listening now.

TV didn't work last time I tried.

Anyone sing the Jubilee arrangements?
Maybe sound a bit dated nowadays?


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 16 May 10 - 04:15 AM

An interesting play,and gave me more insight to the slave trade.

The songs heard in the radio show were not the same arrangements as the Jubilee Singers Book!    Mentioned in another thread.
http://www.archive.org/details/storyofjubileesi00mars

I wonder what the choir really sounded like?


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 May 10 - 03:37 PM

There are recordings of the Jubilee Singers late in their career I think. As to being dated nowadays: well, they were performing 150 years ago, it's not very surprising! They got hammered by some their own people, as did other great black performers(eg Leadbelly and Louis Armstrong), for being Uncle Toms, and doing what the white man wanted to hear. Well the music has lasted better than the critics, I am glad to say. Steal Away, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Go Down Moses etc will be sung for a good while yet, I have no doubt.
Thanks to Adrian Mitchell for his last play, bringing a great topic to life, and thanks to his widow Celia Hewitt for adapting it and getting it on the radio.
A final footnote(not mentioned by Adrian, I don't know if he was aware of the fact). The writer of Swing Low and Steal Away was probably not black at all, but a Red Indian/Native American.


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 10 - 03:59 PM

Emma linked the show for the "Jubilee Songs, Fisk Jubilee Singers" thread.

We can only guess at the sound of the original Jubilee Singers, but I had a feeling that the choir in the radio version of the play might have been close.
The lyrics in Marsh - Pike are rather hymn-like, as one would expect after changes made by their mentors at Fisk. Spirituals and gospel songs as currently sung are quite different. The Jubilee Singers also adapted some songs used at Hampton, where dialect was freely used.


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Subject: RE: Jubilee Singers: Adrian Mitchell play
From: Emma B
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:24 PM

a short article about the play and how it came to be written


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