The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on April 26th:

  • The unexpected party (1341)
  • TheOneRing.net is officially registered (1999)
  • TheOneRing.net celebrates its 10-year Anniversary.
  • TheOneRing.net celebrates its 15-year Anniversary.
  • TheOneRing.net celebrates its 20-year Anniversary.
  • TheOneRing.net celebrates its 25-year Anniversary.
  • [Join us on the Discussion Boards here!]

Continue reading “Today in Middle-earth, April 26”

Our good friends at Volante Opera have been in touch with very exciting news! You may remember, in 2022 and 2023 we brought you news of their work with composer Paul Corfield Godfrey, to bring to life his operas of stories from The Silmarillion.

Godfrey had for many years been working on operatic excerpts from The Lord of the Rings – and during lockdown, he and the Volante Opera folks had even begun recording excerpts, ‘just in case’; but the Tolkien Estate had not granted permission for those works to be released.

We can now exclusively reveal that Godfrey and Volante Opera Productions have been granted permission to release recordings and scores of these works.

There are thirty ‘chapters’, intended to be performed over six evenings. The text is (of course) abridged, but uses as closely as possible Tolkien’s own words; and fans can even look forward to an appearance by that most elusive of characters in adaptations, Tom Bombadil!

The fifteen CD set should be available in 2025. Meanwhile, you can enjoy Volante’s previous recordings of Godfrey’s Silmarillion settings, available to purchase on their website; and here’s a trailer, with aural ‘glimpses’ of what treats we have in store.

Here’s the official press release from Volante Opera:

AT LAST – AN OPERATIC TREATMENT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS

For many years the Tolkien Estate has refused to allow any musical treatment of the works of the author which employed his own words. Now they have agreed to make a concession in respect of the music of Paul Corfield Godfrey, whose cycle of “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” was finally completed in 2023 with the issue of a ten-CD series of recordings from Volante Opera and Prima Facie Records.

Ever since the 1960s the composer has been working on sketches, fragments and episodes of what was envisaged as a cycle of musical works based upon The Lord of the Rings. Following on from the success of the recordings of The Silmarillion Paul was persuaded to go back to these beginnings and fully explore, expand and complete the work which has now evolved as “musical chapters from The Lord of the Rings”. This fully operatic setting has now become a companion work on the same scale as The Silmarillion. This adaptation takes place over thirty “chapters” designed to be performed over six evenings – over fifteen hours of music.

This work is currently in the process of recording by Volante Opera and it is anticipated that Prima Facie will release a demo recording of the complete cycle, in the same manner as their Silmarillion recordings, in 2025.

Cast

The professional singers, some thirty in number, come mainly from Welsh National Opera. Returning artists from The Silmarillion include: Simon Crosby Buttle as Frodo, Julian Boyce as Sam, Philip Lloyd-Evans as Gandalf, Stephen Wells as Aragorn, Michael Clifton-Thompson as Gollum, Helen Jarmany as Éowyn, Huw Llywelyn as Bilbo, Emma Mary Llewellyn as Arwen, Laurence Cole as Boromir/Denethor, Martin Lloyd as Treebeard/Herb Master, Helen Greenaway as Lobelia/Ioreth, Rosie Hay as Gwaihir, Sophie Yelland as the Barrow-wight, Louise Ratcliffe as Lindir, with George Newton-Fitzgerald and Jasey Hall taking on a plethora of roles. Angharad Morgan will also be reprising her role as Galadriel from The Silmarillion. Our new cast members and their characters will be introduced as the recording process continues.

Those who have enjoyed the composer’s large-scale setting of The Silmarillion will be pleased to discover that the music inhabits the same musical world as before, with many ideas and themes continued and expanded into The Lord of the Rings. The “musical chapters” also incorporate other works by the composer such as his earlier Tolkien songs (already available on CD) which now assume greater significance in the course of the whole structure.

Although the text is inevitably abridged, it adheres without any but the most minor alterations to the author’s original words, and the original plot development remains unchanged – including such elements as Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-wight and the ‘scouring of the Shire’. And some other passages, such as the coronation and wedding of Aragorn, are given expanded musical treatment.

Further tales from Tolkien in music

Also coming early 2025, a complete recording of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s solo piano works played by renowned British concert pianist Duncan Honeybourne. This will include, amongst other works, the epic piano rondo Akallabêth, a solo piano version of the Wedding March from The Fall of Gondolin, and a new work composed specifically for Duncan and this album – ‘The Passing of Arwen’.

For more information about the work please visit: www.paulcorfieldgodfrey.co.uk
For more information about the recording by Volante Opera Productions please visit: www.volanteopera.wales
Updates about the recording process will be posted to our social media feeds:
DISCORD: https://discord.gg/J6bQFHygr7
FACEBOOK: Volante Opera Productions, The Music of Paul Corfield Godfrey
INSTAGRAM/THREADS: @volanteopera
TWITTER/X: @OperaVolante, @TheCorfield
Recordings and scores of Epic Scenes from The Silmarillion and Akallabêth and other Tolkien Works are available from Volante Opera Productions’ website.

Check out Volante’s website for lots more information, including more details on casting/characters, chapter breakdown, and synopsis. So much to look forward to; we can’t wait to hear these pieces in full. Now we hope they may be brought to the stage one day… Meanwhile here’s Godfrey’s ‘Lament for Boromir’ – enjoy!

Texts by J.R.R. Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by permission of the Estate of the author, HarperCollins Publishers and Middle-earth Enterprises.

map Battle of Morannon and Mt Doom March 25The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 25th:

  • The Captains of the West come to the Black Gate (3019)
  • The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills (3019)
  • Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur (3019)
  • Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom (3019)
  • Minas Tirith (3019)
  • Gondor proclaims their New Year (3019)
  • Frodo comes home  (3020)
  • Birth of Elanor the Fair, daughter of Samwise (3021)
  • The First “Tolkien Reading Day” (2003)
  • [Join us on the Discussion Boards here]

Continue reading “Today in Middle-earth, March 25”

map Battle of Morannon and Mt Doom March 25The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 25th:

  • The Captains of the West come to the Black Gate (3019)
  • The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills (3019)
  • Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur (3019)
  • Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom (3019)
  • Minas Tirith (3019)
  • Gondor proclaims their New Year (3019)
  • Frodo comes home  (3020)
  • Birth of Elanor the Fair, daughter of Samwise (3021)
  • The First “Tolkien Reading Day” (2003)
  • [Join us on the Discussion Boards here]

Continue reading “Today in Middle-earth, March 25”

Wondercon in Anaheim March 29-31, 2024

TheOneRing.net will kick off the 2024 Convention season at Wondercon in Anaheim, running from March 29-31, 2024. Our panel, ‘Dispatches from Middle-earth: The War of the Rohirrim’ will be on Easter Sunday at 12:15 pm in room North 200A. You can find our panel description at: https://sched.co/1aznT or if you don’t have tickets yet, you can find those at https://www.comic-con.org/wc/

We have much to talk about with the recent announcement of a new book of Tolkien’s poems and the interviews with the creators of The War of the Rohirrim. We will miss the actual ‘Tolkien Reading Day’ on March 25, but all is not lost, March is officially dubbed National Reading Month to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss. All that is to say ‘expect a little bit of Tolkien’s literature to make an appearance’.

We also would like to invite any Middle-earth-themed cosplayers to attend our panel and the subsequent photo shoot out by the fountain in front of the convention center. If you are unable to attend the panel but think you can make the photo shoot afterwards, it will take place 45 minutes after the end of the panel, or approximately at 2pm.