Welcome to the website of Robert Wynne-Simmons, film director, composer of music, writer of scripts, novels, plays and poems.
On this site you will find odd bits of information about my films in England and Ireland, my songs, classical compositions and musical theatre, philosophical musings, stories, myths and curiosities like the Gothic Game or my performances of the Pearl / Gawain poetry.
About The Work
The art of Robert Wynne-Simmons, whether it be in music, film direction, writing or theatre, is intended to give to its audience the inspiration to think in new ways. His works, some of which now have cult status, have a lasting attraction for those that discover them, and create an atmosphere to which they will wish to return. Either internally, in music and writing, or more directly, in films, they conjure up vivid mental pictures, and the sense of a heightened reality. He invites you to share in the experiences of the characters he creates, comic or tragic, in a place where attitudes and fortunes turn on a sixpence, and nothing is quite as expected. At its height, his work has a visionary quality, and, as film critic Dilys Powell once said, ‘a sense of magic, which is not easily forgotten’.
OPERA NOVA - "NEW WORKS"
A group dedicated to the performance of new Musiktheater, consisting of singers and musicians, repetiteur, composer, manager, director &c. The central idea is to create productions which aim high, and yet which are accessible to all, beginning with smaller performances and recitals and building towards works which require a larger staging, performing at various venues, until a home is achieved.
The initial intention is to showcase my own work as composer, but as and when the group gains momentum other projects may then be attempted. I have two projects which I can offer to begin the process.
(1) The first complete production of "The Gothic Game Musical". A re-release of the board game on which this musical is based is planned for Hallowe'en this year and this would be a suitable time for the musical to appear. It began life as a film script which was developed with John Ferraro of Paramount Pictures, producer of the "Startrek" films. With help and support from Terry Jones of Monty Python, and encouragement from Tim Rice, lyricist of "Lion King" and "Evita" I began the musical while still in England. Siegfried Kohler, former Music Director of the Wiesbaden Staatstheater gave his stamp of approval by writing that in his opinion the music was worthy of Broadway.
(2) A preview of the opera "Alexander's Childhood", to include selected arias, an outline of the story and its history. The libretto is taken from the epic poem "The Wars of Alexander" by the author of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", which I have adapted for the stage.
"Rediscovering the joy of the new"
Robert Wynne-Simmons - Mainz, Germany - email@example.com
"The Wars of Alexander" "The Wars of Alexander" is a new trilogy forged out of a forgotten masterpiece by the author of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. Although he never wrote for the stage, there being few outlets for such work in the 14th Century, his writing is so dramatic and full of such magnificent speeches, that it is easily transformed into a play. It deals with the life of Alexander the Great, his search for a father, his complex relationships with his mother and with his arch-enemy, Darius of Persia, his encounter with the philosophies of the east, and his death in Babylon at the hands of a member of his own family.
History "The Warres of Alexander" is, for the most part, a translation into English verse of a 10th Century Latin prose work by Archbishop Leo of Naples, entitled "Historia de Preliis Alexandri Magni". The fact that this epic romance was written by the Pearl Poet has long been overlooked. However, as soon as the poem is read aloud, the recognisable voice, the similarities of language and rhythm, the unmistakeable ideosyncrasies of style, including many lines which are almost identical, the familiar four line verse form, and the underlying philosophical beliefs, all combine to make it easily recognisable as the work of the author of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and "Pearl". As long as all his other poems put together, it doubles the canon of his known work.
Also of interest is evidence that William Shakespeare read and knew "The Warres of Alexander" and that he drew from it in the writing of "Henry V" and “Macbeth”. This means that the similarities of dramatic style between the two poets are not just coincidental, or due to the fact that they are both 'West-Midlanders', but that the works of the Pearl/Gawain poet had a direct and major influence on Shakespeare's writing.