Sue Curtis (research and poem compilation)

Sue Curtis (research and poem compilation)

choosing the poems for the Oratorio…

Teacher, academic, director, actor- Sue Curtis approaches her work as writer and librettist from the solid foundation of a lifetime’s varied experience of literature and theatre.

She took her first degrees, a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology, and a B.Hons (First Class) in English Literature, at the University of Natal,. An M.Phil in English Literature, awarded for a thesis on Jacobean Drama and the Morality Tradition, from the University of York, followed. She trained as an actor at Mountview in London, and took her PGCE at King’s College, London.

An inspirational teacher, she has spent much of her life as an academic, lecturing at universities in South Africa, Austria, and England, and teaching English at King Edwards School in Bath .

While at King Edwards, she founded a Department of Drama and Theatre Studies, which she ran for twenty years.  When she left, Drama was available throughout the school and at GCSE and A Level.  During the time she ran the department, her passion for theatre and her commitment to professional production values communicated itself to her students, over 150 of  whom now work in the industry as actors, writers, directors ,stage, lighting, sound and costume designers, fundraisers, producers, theatre managers and film-makers.

She worked as a actor and as an award-winning director in Austria, South Africa and England.

Since leaving teaching, she has worked full time as a writer and librettist., collaborating with the composer Jools Scott.

Sue has written stage plays, operas, musicals and children’s stories, and has just completed her first screenplay.

Apart from time cheerfully spent raising three children – all of whom now work in media and design in London – running a theatre, running for the council in Haringey – she has devoted her life, one way and another, to drama as literature and as theatre.

Her work is varied; dark, subtle, intelligent  and funny; she is as happy writing lyrics for Elizabethan characters as dialogue for modern teenagers or Victorian vampires; as much at home having fun in a child’s world of imagination as revelling in the intellectual thuggery of Jacobean satire.

Posts from Sue's WW1 Oratorio Blog

  • Opera
    The story has it that Handel’s main reason for developing the oratorio further was the fact that the popularity of his operas was starting to wane, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find producers willing to put up the money. An oratorio was a great deal easier to finance… No related posts.
  • BBC_Singers_Milton_Court20_Sarah_Jeynes
    Endymion’s wide range, its genuine enthusiasm for the work of new composers combined with its irreproachable understanding of the classical repertoire, makes it the perfect ensemble to premiere The Cool Web. Related posts: Introducing Robin O’Neill, The Conductor of ‘The Cool Web’ Introducing – The Melody Makers of Bath Abbey – the children singing in […]
  • 048-web-Aidan-Oliver-4Apr111-300x200
    This is a brilliant young choir, like our soloist, Edward Grint, perfect for this oratorio, which, based on the work of a nineteen-year-old Robert Graves, and written by a young composer, is fresh, passionate, and electrifying. Related posts: Introducing Robin O’Neill, The Conductor of ‘The Cool Web’ Introducing – The Melody Makers of Bath Abbey […]
  • robert_graves-e1381434750882
    Robert Graves describes the terrible deterioration of young officers at the front with a clinical clarity devoid of self-pity. Related posts: The hot scent of the summer rose
  • neroHead_1494809c
    David: A man loved by two of the great poets of his time; and fiercely mourned by them. But who was he? No related posts.
  • WWWIPIC_01
    The Cool Web is an oratorio based on the poems Robert Graves wrote at the front as a young officer. As such, it offers a moving glimpse of a poet struggling to write about an unbearable experience as it happened. In this talk Sue Curtis, the compiler, talks about the poems she and Jools Scott […]
  • img_1836
    Robert Graves, like so many of his contemporaries in the trenches, was only 19 when he arrived on the Somme; the memories of childhood were not far behind him, and a natural source of emotional reference for his poetry. Related posts: Introducing Robin O’Neill, The Conductor of ‘The Cool Web’ Introducing… the Philharmonia Voices Introducing… […]
  • 91WPlhEJ9WL._SX425_
    Edward Grint has a glorious voice, and we can’t wait to hear him on October 30th. No related posts.
  • Robin O'Neill (conductor)
    As the time for the actual performance of the Oratorio grows near, we want to celebrate the people involved with the first performance of this new work. Robin O’Neill has been part of this project from the very beginning. Related posts: Introducing – The Melody Makers of Bath Abbey – the children singing in ‘The […]
  • 1568260_orig
    We shall go mad, no doubt, and die that way.. Related posts: War and Friendship We will remember them: Futility: May 1918 We will remember them: Anthem for Doomed Youth 1917