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Gareth Valentine
1956 -
Great Britain, England
G. Valentine
Gareth Valentine (22/11/1956), an English composer and Musical Director of many West End and European productions such as Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along, Kiss Me, Kate, Company, Kiss Of the Spider Woman, Miss Saigon and others.
Valentine, who studied voice with Sir Peter Pears in the late 70's, has just released a set of Christmas carols on Englandís Herald label. Planning to specialize in liturgical writing, he is currently composing a Missa Brevis.
Mainly, however, Valentine writes for musical theatre in England. His history includes involvement in almost 25 West End productions as musical director, arranger or performer. Credits include composing all the dance music for Kiss Me Kate (Royal Shakespeare Company), and London performances of Kiss Of The Spiderwoman, Cabaret, Company 42nd Street, Chicago (with Chita Rivera), Miss Saigon, Merrily We Roll Along, and Kiss Me Kate (Broadway principal cast).
Composed in:1993
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:those who have died from AIDS
Label(s):Jay Productions CDTER 1258
Valentine: "My Requiem was liturgically celebrated on May 15th 1993 at Southwark Cathedral, London. It was written as a visceral response to the grim swathe of AIDS which has touched almost everyone I knew at that time, one way or another. The Cathedral was packed and next to me sat my partner Mike, himself infected with HIV and recovering from radiotherapy. He was gravely ill but managed to be at my side for this monumental service at which he took his first, and last communion. I shall never forget the response after he had consumed the body and blood - "Will I be alright now?" I answered yes. He died on August 15th that year with his family and friends at his bedside and, yes, as a Christian, I truly believe that he is alright now.
This Requiem is dedicated to him and to all those who live under the shadow of HIV. Since the advent of AIDS, untold number of gay men have died, but overwhelmingly the problem is rooted in the Third World, much of the globe being affected still greatly. This recording is one of a myriad of efforts by the community to raise awareness for funding in the HIV and AIDS field. In buying this CD you contribute to those deep and worthy coffers for which I am personally grateful."

Valentine: "I wrote the piece as a musician, as a gay man and as a Christian. The format of the Requiem seemed to be the only thing that would encapsulate all these things beautifully. Itís a very majestic liturgy and this would be my contribution."
Author:Gareth Valentine