2013 Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Director: Robert Quinlan
Scenic Design: Fred Duer
Lighting Design: Sarah EC Maines
Costume Design: Sandy Childers
Sound Design/Music Composition: Shannon O’Neill
Fight Choreography: Paul Dennhardt
Cover Photo: Pete Guither

From the beginning, director Robert Quinlan mentioned that he felt the coronation of Macbeth felt like a sacred Catholic event, possibly that it is a Coronation Mass. I took this idea and ran with it, imagining the music of this piece to feel like a Requiem for Scotland. I did not complete a full Requiem Mass, but thought of the piece as such, writing music in Gregorian modes. The Kyrie (heard in the video) opened the show.

As we were aiming to move toward original practices with our Shakespeare pieces for the Festival, I wanted to explore creating music and sound effects with instruments. The ISU School of Music generously allowed us to borrow some tympani for the production, and between the tympani, guitars, mandolin, frame drums, singing, an upright bass, and even an ocarina, we were able to create a rich bed not only of music, but of atmospheres and sound effects to complement this visually stunning piece.