Joshua Clausen

Composer of Acoustic & Electronic Music

The Tempest

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The Tempest, one of William Shakespeare's last plays, is a strange and compelling part of his body of works. Neither a comedy, tragedy or historical story, critics see The Tempest as explicitly concerned with its own nature as a play, frequently drawing links between it's character's practice of magic and theatrical illusion. Early critics saw the main protagonist, Prospero as a representation of Shakespeare, and his renunciation of magic as signalling Shakespeare's farewell to the stage.
The backstory of the play reveals that Prospero, who is the rightful Duke of Milan, has been stranded on a remote island with his daughter Miranda for twelve years. Twelve years previously, Prospero was deposed by his jealous brother Antonio, who conspired with Alonso, the king of Naples, to kidnap them and set them adrift in the sea. Prospero, a learned man, has developed powerful magical skills while marooned and has survived on the island with the aid of Ariel, a spirit creature in Prospero's debt, and Caliban, a deformed monster who has become Prospero's slave. When a ship that carries his usurping brother and the complicit King passes nearby, Prospero conjures a storm, the eponymous tempest, to crash the ship on the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son.
The score to this production, produced by Concordia College under the direction of David Wintersteen, focuses on the themes of Prospero's elemental magic and his ultimate goals of grace and atonement for those who have wronged him.