BARRY GERALD WEBB

TENOR – COMPOSER – MUSICAL DIRECTOR – VOCAL COACH

COMPOSING

The view from the house of Zelena Hora (Green Mountain).

Barry recounts how his composing began:

“I began composing when living in Prague. I had moved there to get away from London after my mother and brother both passed away in the same 24 hours over Christmas 2005. I was in total grief and completely stopped singing and music for 2 years, but then bought an old, decrepit baby grand piano and started tinkling on its keys. That piano saved me.

At about the same time, I began to look for a place in the Czech countryside to start a music centre, something by which to remember my mother and brother. Somewhere away from the maddening crowd. I felt drawn to seeking something with a nearness to water, and on an internet search, the house at Klaster Nepomuk (in the pictures here) came up almost immediately. I did not know of its historical and spiritual links before my visit, and fell in love with its view across a lake to a castle on a green hill as soon as I arrived there.

I began writing many songs based on the love that I felt for my family, which then formed the basis of my opera Nepomuk.”

The house and Klaster as seen from the lake.

THE OPERA NEPOMUK

 “I found out that the house was built on the site of an old monastery, destroyed in 1420. Its special spiritual history is its connection with St John of Nepomuk, who was born 2 kilometers away, and who was educated at the monastery.

The events of 1393 and John’s death led me to write an opera. The first act is set at the house, in the garden looking to the castle. John and King Wenceslaus talk about power and love.

The opera was written between 2011 and 2012. The Arts Council of England funded performances in concert in June 2018 in Liverpool.

This was part of Project Nepomuk, a Cross Border Cultural Cooperation project, bringing people together through Art and Music, based in the UK and the Czech Republic.”

Video of NEPOMUK rehearsals.

OTHER WORKS

Barry has written chamber works for voice and instruments, choral and orchestral works.

In November 2021 the premier of the first movement (called Tuscany) of his Cello Sonata, was performed in Liverpool.