|The Washington University Madrigal Singers at the White House |
(RS is in the back row, just to the right of the conductor's hand)
Rhian has collaborated with several women poets in creating her vocal music. She has set poems by American May Sarton with the poet’s express encouragement, worked extensively with the late Anglo-American Anne Stevenson and has set Welsh texts by Nesta Wyn Jones and Ann Griffiths. She does not confine her choice of texts to women poets however; she has also set those of, for instance, Aeschylus (for Clytemnestra), Zulfikar Ghose and Henry Thoreau (Haze and the Absence of Clouds for soprano, string quartet and piano) and, for song cycles for baritone and piano, WW1 poet Charles Sorley (A Swift Radiant Morning) and Samuel Beckett (The Flowing Sand).
She co-edited The New Grove/Norton Dictionary of Women Composers with Julie Anne Sadie. Her much-quoted preface to this dictionary discusses the situation of women composers over the past 100+ years. She has also written on several of the operas of Harrison Birtwistle, including Gawain, The Minotaur and The Second Mrs Kong, publishing for the two former works both the programme notes for the ROH and diaries of their first productions for the Cambridge Opera Journal.