Mike and Kate Westbrook are the forerunners in the use of Blake’s poems set to music for theatre productions. This evening’s event is an online conversation between Mike Westbrook, Kate Westbrook and Camila Oliveira about the relevance of William Blake in contemporary culture and the challenges of setting Blake to music blending classical and popular music traditions.
Mike Westbrook (OBE) and Kate Westbrook are Patrons of the Blake Society. The pianist and composer Mike Westbrook, in collaboration with his wife, singer/librettist Kate Westbrook, generated a whole series of jazz, cabarets and music-theatre pieces in a successful career that spans more than 50 years. Mike’s involvement in experimental theatre resulted in a collaboration with poet, novelist and playwright Adrian Mitchell in the acclaimed production “Tyger: A Celebration of William Blake”, staged by the National Theatre in 1971. Mike and Kate also released two albums of Blake settings: The Westbrook Blake (1980) and Glad Day (1997), which include the music composed for the stage production and later settings.