Iain Ellis Hamilton.
Born Glasgow, 6 June 1922.
Died London, 21 July 2000.
Iain Hamilton, after training as an engineer, studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 1951 with the Dove Prize. After teaching at Morley College, he spent twenty years from 1961 in North Carolina (Duke University) before returning to London. His early compositions were modernist in style, influenced by Berg and Webern. His operatic compositions at this time were Agamemnon and The Royal Hunt of the Sun (based on the successful play by Peter Shaffer). The first has never been performed, and the second received an excellent staging by Colin Graham at the Coliseum, though only after the success achieved by the more intimate Catiline. Pharsalia is a brief and small-scale music theatre piece, performed at the 1969 Edinburgh Festival by the Music Theatre Ensemble. Hamilton's later style was more lyrical, particularly in Anna Karenina, launched successfully in another Colin Graham staging for ENO. This is also evident in many sections of Catiline. A later opera, Lancelot, was first given in the open air at Arundel Castle in Sussex.
Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-
Agamemnon (1960, rev 1968, 1987; unprod) (cpsr)
The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1968; prod London 1977) (cpsr)
Pharsalia (1969) (cpsr)
The Catiline Conspiracy (Stirling 1974) (cpsr)
Tamburlaine (1977; unprod) (cpsr)
Anna Karenina (London 1981) (cpsr)
Dick Whittington (1981; unprod) (cpssr)
Lancelot (Arundel 1985) (cpsr)
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