Playground Ensemble

8 Songs for a Mad King

1/29/2019 . 7:30pm . Colorado College Guest Artist Concert Colorado College, Packard Hall, Colorado Springs

2/17/2019 . 2pm . Boulder Public Library
Boulder, CO

2/22/2019 . 7:30pm . Metro State Guest Artist Concert
Metro State University, King Center, Auraria Campus
AHEC Box Office

Peter Maxwell Davies’ masterpiece Eight Songs for a Mad King was shocking, scandalous, and utterly captivating to audiences when it premiered in 1969. Its unconventional vocal techniques, bizarre theatricality, jarring juxtapositions of musical styles, and unflattering depiction of Mad King George III are as fresh, relevant, and  entertaining today as they were 50 years ago. The singer plays the role of King George, while the flute, clarinet, violin and cello depict the birds that George believed he could teach to sing particular songs on command. Piano, harpsichord, and a large number of percussion instruments round out the instrumentation.