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Joby Talbot

Publisher: Chester Music

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2010)
Work Notes
Orchestrations by Christopher Austin and Joby Talbot. World premiere choreography by Christopher Wheeldon (2011) for The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London.
Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Year Composed
1 Hour 55 Minutes
4 female voices (or keyboard)
Alternate Orchestration
Programme Note
Joby Talbot Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2010)
A new full-length ballet created by Christopher Wheeldon for The Royal Ballet. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland brings a famous story and its equally famous characters to the ballet stage. The Victorian childhood of Lewis Carroll’s Alice and her encounters with extraordinary people, strange creatures and unusual events gives Wheeldon an entire new world to create. Written by Joby Talbot in 2010 the score is the the first full-length ballet score for The Royal Ballet for 20 years. With a scenario by Nicholas Wright (his adaptations have included His Dark Materials at the NT), and designs by the internationally acclaimed Bob Crowley, this is a compelling creative team indeed. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was commissioned by the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London and the National Ballet of Canada.

Preview the score (Act I):

Or go to Acts II & III

  • Ensemble
    Royal Ballet and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
    Barry Wordsworth
    Opus Arte:
  • Ensemble
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Christopher Austin
    Signum Classics:
  • 05 MAR 2020
    Paramount, Anderson, IN
    Anderson Young Ballet Theatre

    Other Dates:
    6 March - Paramount, Anderson, IN
  • 26 MAY 2020
    Staatsoper Munich, Germany
    Bayerisches Staatsballett
    Myron Romanul, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22,25,30 November 2018; 22,24 February 2019; 26 November 2019; 17 April 2019; 1,4,9,12,16 November 2019; 16 November 2018 - Staatsoper Munich, Germany
  • 05 JUN 2020
    New National Theatre, Opera House, Tokyo, Japan
    National Ballet of Japan; Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Nathan Brock; Misato Tomita, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6,7,13,14 June - New National Theatre, Opera House, Tokyo, Japan

The work of Joby Talbot is almost beyond praise.
Laura Thompson, Daily Telegraph,08/12/2014
I can’t get enough of Talbot’s glorious moving toy shop of a score, with lashings of shimmer and chime. Strange percussion emerges from the musical undergrowth, while the rabbit’s cornet is more of a shofar, an alarming call to judgement. And, at its heart, there’s a blessed-out waltz for dancing flowers: froufrou petals in edible colours. It’s sure to be a treat on screen.
David Jays, Sunday Times,24/03/2013
...Talbot’s sublimely witty score, which seems to use every instrument to match the sounds from the pit to the action on the stage, creating a lush soundscape that drives the action.
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph,17/03/2013
The invisible star is British composer Joby Talbot's new score... Talbot’s score had my attention from the moment the curtain went up, in the quiet, short interlude. Although the music is written with four beats to the measure, the castanet counts five beats for each entrance, subliminally suggesting that something a little wacky is about to take place on stage (our attention is not supposed to be on the orchestra pit, after all). The brass and woodwinds get a huge workout in this score, which also has an electronic component to supply occasional pedal notes and entirely superfluous human voices (held vowels that could just as easily have been played by clarinets, violas, cellos or even an English horn). Talbot loves suspended dissonance in his tonal writing, leaving our ears on edge in anticipation of the music resolving into consonance. This is another apt reflection of what’s happening on stage as Alice travels through her off-kilter dreamworld.
John Terauds,,15/11/2012
It’s official: the Royal Ballet has a perennial hit on its hands… What truly sets it all spinning is the shimmering, urgent and mischievous music of the composer Joby Talbot.
Donald Hutera, The Times,20/03/2012
Talbot’s score is as colourful and mercurial as it is cinematic.5*
Mark Monahan, Daily Telegraph,19/03/2012
Joby Talbot’s original score is simply superb. By turns symphonic and cinematic, the music perfectly matches each episode of Carroll’s wondrous tale. For example, the White Rabbit’s leitmotif is other-worldly eerie. The terrifying Queen of Hearts gets the cut and thrust of a killer tango, while the tea party is sheer cacophony. Conductor David Briskin and his players prove their mettle with the complex orchestration.
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail,05/06/2011
Talbot's score provides instantly enjoyable, vividly illustrative musical accompaniment.
Rupert Christiansen, The Critics,13/03/2011
The real engine powering the show is Joby Talbot's score, a storming piece of work spiced with exotic woodwind, James Bond brass, and an ironmongers'-worth of percussion, deployed with thrilling climactic control.
Jenny Gilbert, Independent on Sunday,06/03/2011
An out-and-out success is Joby Talbot's wonderful score, vivid, eclectic, lyrical, dramatic, full of colour and apt to characters and incident. Talbot pull[s] out all the stops in his luscious music.
David Dougill, The Sunday Times,06/03/2011
Joby Talbot's superlative score...rarely falters. The White Rabbit has a tinkling, crystalline theme, in obedience to which Watson darts around with neurotic, time-checking precision. Talbot's music swoops, flutters and shimmers in concord with Alice's mood, now flutish and inquiring, now brassily perplexed, and for her duets with Jack, transformed by her dream into the Knave of Hearts, he delivers passages of spun-sugar lyricism.
Luke Jennings, The Observer,06/03/2011
First credit has to go to Joby Talbot's score. Driven by a huge percussion section, with weird and wayward textures, vividly descriptive melodies and a shimmer of emotion, this is music that is not only sophisticated, but also danceable. This Alice looks set to become a classic.
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian,01/03/2011
Alice's Adventure in Wonderland, with a stunning score by Joby Talbot, is a spectacular family entertainment brought to life with enormous theatrical verve. Talbot's score is utterly enchanting, a tapestry of wonder and mystery that shimmers with rich characterisation.
Debra Craine, The Times,01/03/2011
Joby Talbot's exuberant score....swirls and shimmers...lets rip with music for a playing card ballet. It's a dazzling show.
Zoe Anderson, The Independent,01/03/2011
Joby Talbot's score drives onwards, full of colour. ... Alice will undoubtedly be hugely popular; it's colourful, enjoyable fun.
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph,01/03/2011
This is a gigantic orchestra with weird percussion and ram's horn trumpets emitting a positive Niagara Falls of picturesque music. ... Talbot, for his industry, zeal and vigorously eclectic story-painting, he's man of the match.
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk,01/03/2011
With Joby Talbot’s inventive score driving the action and setting the mood, shifting gear from cod-Tchaikovsky to Bernard Hermann hysteria and from thundering Stravinsky to lush Rogers and Hammerstein with ease, this romps along, building scene after scene of breathtaking invention.
Neil Norman, The Express,01/03/2011
Talbot’s score is bright, hard-edged ... [with] driving energies.
Clement Crisp, The Financial Times,01/03/2011
Talbot’s score is the trump card for 'Alice'. It’s a dazzling array of melodies and shimmering percussion, usefully atmospheric and dancey, yet sophisticated enough to feel like more than a mere support. It’s one of the things that makes 'Alice' enjoyable.
Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times,01/03/2011
Talbot's percussive score is glamorous and cacophonous, and evokes the near-riot of Lewis's characters. Talbot uses unexpected instruments, which provide musical intrigue and frame the surreal narrative.
Sarah Frater, This is London,01/03/2011
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