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With ISLA grant, musicologist researches The Pilgrim’s Progress in London

Author: Joshua Hubbard

Categories: Research and Faculty News

Christopher Chowrimootoo recently traveled to London to research the history of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera The Pilgrim’s Progress. Based on Paul Bunyan’s 1678 allegorical novel, the opera began as a one-act production in 1921 before evolving into a motet in 1940 and a radio dramatization in 1942. In 1951, The Pilgrim’s Progress premiered at the Royal Opera House. Supported by an ISLA Small Grant for Research and Creative Work, Chowrimootoo worked at the British Library for two weeks during the summer of 2019, studying librettos, scores, and photographs of the original production. The research yielded valuable insight into Vaughan Williams’ process and the reception of the work as reported in contemporary newspapers.

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