Mr W.S.

Scope and Content

A ballet suite based on the life of William Shakespeare, Mr W.S. is comprised of nine movements for full orchestra. The suite is around 36 minutes long and combines musical form and instrumentation from the Elizabethan era with the tonality and compositional styles of early twentieth century English composers and Hollywood film-music composers, such as Miklós Rózsa and Elmer Bernstein.

The ballet includes reworkings of many of the musical compositions that Burgess had produced in the late 1960s for the proposed musical film with Warner Brothers-Seven Arts about Shakespeare's life, known as "The Bawdy Bard" and later "Will!". It was composed - and also premiered on the BBC - in 1979.

This series contains a synopisis of the ballet in English and French.