Cook’s Tours

Sunday 25 August @ 6.15PM FREE

‘If music be the Food of Love’ – Setting Shakespeare to music

If Shakespeare seems a touchstone of all that is English to British composers, he has also appealed to Europeans. Berlioz was smitten by the poet and the actress Harriet Smithson when he saw Hamlet for the first time in Paris and Richard Strauss set Ophelia’s sad songs to music in a notable group of lieder. Why are composers drawn to England’s greatest dramatic poet? What is it that they find in his plays that provokes them to music?