Blanca Portillo. Photo: Aljosa Rebolj

HAMLET
Theatre play
Produced by Teatro Espańol
Directed by Tomaz Pandur
Opening night: February 12th 2009

"... A beautiful and romantic score ... it has great lyrical strength and rapture."
Marcos Ordonez, El País

Hamlet marks the fourth collaboration between director Tomaz Pandur and Silence. The play features majestic scenography by Numen, costumes by David Delfín, lighting by Juan Gómez Cornejo and an eminent cast led by Blanca Portillo ... yup, as Hamlet.

Hamlet features 90 minutes of original music written by Silence. The score is predominantly classical, performed by pianist Srebrenka Poljak and a 14-piece string orchestra. Early on, Silence realized that the cinematic qualities of Pandur's staging would be best complemented by an equally cinematic soundtrack. They decided to emulate the grandeur of classic movies from mid 20th century.

While working, the duet found itself gravitating more and more towards the refined grace of the great John Barry. Oddly enough, Barry's style fit Hamlet perfectly - especially his work for the James Bond franchise. Music somehow transcended the apparent incompatibility between 007 and the prince of Denmark, two radically dissimilar characters (to say the least), creating an inexplicable yet undeniable … well, bond between the two.

Silence's first idea, a Cimbalom soloist accompanied by a string orchestra and brass section, was unfeasible due to budget limitations. The duet had to achieve the depth, warmth and trademark elegance of Barry's arrangements with a smaller ensemble - a difficult task. Attempting to ensure as much depth and texture as possible, Silence proposed an unorthodox solution: a string orchestra composed exclusively of cellos and contrabasses. The Cimbalom was replaced with the more versatile piano. Fortunately, the producer accepted the new proposition.

The instrumentalists were assembled and conducted by Tomislav Facini. The recording session was organized and headed by Davor Rocco, with whom Silence already collaborated on Caligula. The music was recorded at the HRT (the Croatian National TV) studios in Zagreb on December 7th 2008. In January 2009, Silence recorded four additional tracks (The Duel, Cello Theme, Cello Variations, Cello Tension) with cellist Igor Mitrovic at their private production facility, the Daily Girl studio.

Between the two halves of the play, there is an intermission. This is no ordinary toilet and cigarette break, mind you. During the pause, the audience is escorted to … well, it could be anything, really. A foyer. A night club. A parallel dimension. Or perhaps all of the above. In any case, the audience is soon introduced to the star of the evening: the Ghost (Hamlet's murdered father, interpreted by Asier Etxeandia), who gives a short concert. Three unsurpassable instrumentalists (saxophonist Primoz Fleischman, contrabassist Ziga Golob, and drummer Janez Gabric) perform a selection of Twin Peaks-esque songs. The repertoire consists of five previously released Silence songs (Belief, Favourite Routine, The 5th Elephant, Skin, The Last Dance), re-arranged for the occasion, as well as one novelty, Mousetrap. Conceived as a tribute to composer Angelo Badalamenti, the peculiar intermission marks Silence's first excursion into jazz.

Hamlet also features music by Antonio Vivaldi and Henryk Górecki.

01 Anatomy of Love
02 Dews of Blood
03 Elsinore
04 Frailty
05 Hamlet
06 Instrument of Destruction
07 In the Name of the Father
08 Pray You Love, Remember
09 Strings Variation 1
10 Strings Variation 2
11 Strings Variation 3
12 Piano Variation 1
13 Piano Variation 2
14 Piano Variation 3
15 Piano Variation 4
16 Piano Variation 5
17 The Duel
18 Cello Theme
19 Cello Variations
20 Cello Tension

Intermission:
01 Skin
02 Favourite Routine
03 Last Dance
04 The 5th Elephant
05 Belief
06 Mousetrap

Watch the trailer for Hamlet
Listen to the score

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