[Cynnabar] Queen Elizabeth (1912) an Early Movie with Early Music

Aaron Elkiss aelkiss at gmail.com
Wed Jul 4 16:45:05 UTC 2012

Michigan Theater
Friday, October 12

This sounds like it will be the most amazing thing in the history of
things, so mark your calendar now:


"One of Sarah Bernhardt's most successful theatrical productions was
Les amours de la reine Élisabeth. Released in 1912, the film was the
first distributed by Famous Players Film Company, which later became
Paramount Pictures. The film's success helped convince other American
distributors that feature films were viable commercially. The silent
film was originally released with one of the earliest musical scores
for film, which has since been lost. Through extensive historical
research, the Newberry Consort has created a new soundtrack using
music of the Elizabethan period, which they perform live to this
silent film.

A five-part consort of viols, along with soprano Ellen Hargis, perform
the dramatic music written about the historical events surrounding
Elizabeth and her court, from the English victory over the Spanish
Armada, Elizabeth's tragic relationship with Robert Devereaux, the
Earl of Essex, to Elizabeth's eventual demise, as an accompaniment to
the film.

The program begins with a short commentary by Consort director David
Douglass, about early filmmaking and the performers in Bernhardt's
film, about the true history of Elizabeth and Essex, and about the
process of creating a historical soundtrack. Then follows a short
performance of the Elizabethan vocal music heard during the movie,
sung by Ellen Hargis to the accompaniment of the Newberry Consort of
viols. Then the stage is set for the movie to begin."

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