The Hallé brings Dvořák’s music to life

Award-winning actor Henry Goodman to play Czech composer in Beyond the Score

By Steven Pankhurst | 18 March 2016

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Award-winning actor Henry Goodman to play Czech composer in Beyond the Score

Beyond the Score will form the centrepiece of the orchestra’s Dvořák Festival this May. The festival, titled Nature, Life and Love, will celebrate the Czech composer with seven concerts in two weeks, conducted by the Hallé’s Music Director Sir Mark Elder. First performed in Chicago under Creative Director Gerard McBurney’s leadership, Beyond the Score combines music, actors, singers and film to tell the story of Dvořák’s most iconic score, Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’.

Henry Goodman, who will portray Dvořák, appears regularly on stage and screen. He is known for film roles in Notting Hill, The Damned United and Green Street, along with a multitude of roles with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. His many awards include Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, and for Best Actor for The Merchant of Venice.

Henry Goodman said: “I am thrilled to take on the role of Dvořák in such a fascinating and imaginative production. Having worked with the orchestra before, I am very much looking forward to sharing the stage with Sir Mark and the Hallé again. This remarkable blend of theatre, film and music will bring Dvořák’s greatest work to life, and provide a perfect introduction to the symphony, which will then be played in full by the orchestra.”

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé will be on stage with narrator Gerard McBurney and actors throughout, taking part in the story as it unfolds and giving a complete performance of the symphony in the second half. On stage and on the Hallé big screen we see Dvořák, fascinated by American history and the America around him, become inspired to create this great work.

Sir Mark Elder says: “Beyond the Score delves into the inspiration for a true masterpiece. This production has enjoyed huge success with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s audience. I can’t wait to see the Manchester audience’s reaction when we perform this very special concert.”

Presented at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, ‘Nature, Life and Love’ includes performances of Dvořák’s best-known works such as his impressive Seventh Symphony, along with masterpieces such as St Ludmila, a rarely-performed oratorio that concludes the festival.