(b Wichita, KS, 31 July 1943). American soprano. She studied in Kansas and New York, making her début in 1966 at Kansas City as Susanna, then joined the New York City Opera and sang the Dying Soul in the US première of Schoenberg’s Jakobsleiter at Santa Fe (1968). She made her Covent Garden début as Rosina (1971) and sang her first Zerbinetta at Glyndebourne (1972). She sang regularly in Vienna in such roles as Pamina, Konstanze, Gilda, Zdenka, Sophie, Lucia, Musetta and Juliet; she also appeared at San Francisco, Berlin, La Scala, where she sang Nannetta (1980), and Salzburg, where she sang the Protagonist in the première of Berio’s Un re in ascolto (1984). The great flexibility of voice and security of technique that Wise revealed in such roles as Lucia and Zerbinetta were displayed to even more dazzling effect as Berg’s Lulu, which she first sang in Geneva (1985) and has also recorded. In 1995 she took up a teaching post at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Wiseman, Debbie [Debra]
(b London, 10 May 1963). English composer. She graduated from the GSM, London, where she studied composition with Buxton Orr and the piano with James Gibb. Though she also composes concert and electro-acoustic music, she is best known for her television and film scores. She has been nominated for numerous awards and in 1993 won the TRIC TV Theme Music of the Year award for The Good Guys. Her work has been featured in radio and television programmes on music for the media, and she has contributed to educational programmes on this subject. In 1995 she was appointed visiting professor of film composition at the RCM.
Wiseman is drawn to writing descriptive music and adept at matching dramatic situations with appropriate sound worlds. Several scores provide an emotional subtext, for instance in the feature films Tom and Viv and Haunted. Her many memorable themes and signature tunes are the product of a strong sense of melodic line.
Film scores: Tom and Viv (dir. B. Gilbert), 1994; Haunted (dir. L. Gilbert), 1995; Female Perversions (dir. S. Streitfeld), 1996; Wilde (dir. B. Gilbert), 1997
TV scores: Shrinks, 1991; The Good Guys, 1993; The Dying of the Light, 1994; The Death of Yugoslavia, 1995; The Missing Postman, 1996
Other works (for a combination of cl, sax, pf, vc, perc unless otherwise stated): Inside Looking Out, 1989; Squares and Roundabouts, 1989; Echoes of Istria, 1989; Working, 1989; Fugue; The Golden Hour, SATB, chbr orch
Principal publishers: Music Collection International, BBC
Wishart, Peter (Charles Arthur)
(b Crowborough, 25 June 1921; d Bath, 14 August 1984). English composer and teacher of Scottish descent. He studied with Hely-Hutchinson at Birmingham University (1938–41) and with Boulanger in Paris (1947–8). Returning to Birmingham, he taught at the Midland Institute and, from 1950, at the University, where he produced his valuable Toveyan monograph Harmony. In 1959 he moved to London, teaching at the GSMD from 1961 and becoming a lecturer at King’s College in 1972. In 1977 he was appointed professor of music at Reading University. He is buried in Great Elm, near Frome, where he lived for many years.
He first became known as a Midlands composer of choral pieces, especially carols, and elegant chamber music. His Concerto for Orchestra (1957) was a Feeney Trust commission for the CBSO, and the vocal-instrumental suite Elegies (1958) was composed for the Barber Institute Concerts in Birmingham; in 1959 and 1960 the Institute also gave the first performances of his one-act operas, the comic Two in the Bush and its tragic companion-piece The Captive. Wishart’s critical reputation has rested mainly on these and his later operas (all to librettos by Don Roberts), but he was equally accomplished in all genres. Various factors impeded the early dissemination and publication of his music. His resolute adherence to tonality and his liking for middle-period Stravinsky brought him into opposition with prevailing critical orthodoxy and hindered his access to patronage; but his self-reliance and discriminating musicianship earned him the respect of the more independent-minded critics and of many distinguished performers. Singers, in particular, have learned to admire his songs, many written for his third wife, the mezzo-soprano Maureen Lehane. His style evinces a mastery of diatonic dissonance and a witty economy of means, blending elements of Stravinskian neo-classicism in rhythm and spacing with a truly classical approach to the control of key, modulation and contrast. His expressive lyrical line, often employing in vocal music a piquant displacement of prosodic and metrical accents, is supported by lucid, terse but unfailingly imaginative textures.
all dates are of first performance unless otherwise stated
stage and orchestral
Two in the Bush, op.26 (ob, 1, D. Roberts), 1956, perf. 1959; The Captive, op.37 (op, 1, Roberts), 1960; The Comedy of Errors, op.43, incid music, 1962; 2 Stories for Movt: Beowulf, op.53, Persephone, op.54, ballets, 1967; As you Like It, op.55, incid music, 1967; The Clandestine Marriage, op.69 (ob, 3, Roberts, after Garrick, Coleman), 1971; Clytemnestra, op.72 (tragic op, 2), 1974; The Lady of the Inn (ob, 3, Roberts after C. Goldoni), 1983
Vn Conc. no.1, op.14, 1952; Sym. no.1, E, op.19, 1953; Ecossaises, op.20, 1953, arr. 2vn, pf; Aubade, op.23, fl, str, 1955 [from chbr work, 1955]; Conc. piccolo, op.25, 1955; Conc. for Orch, op.27, 1957; Conc., op.32, pf, small orch, 1958; Divertimento, op.34, brass, 1959; Divisions, op.48, 1965; Serenade, D, op.51, small orch, 1966; 5 Pieces, op.56, str, 1967; Vn Conc. no.2, op.61, 1968; Jubilee, op.67, march, 1970; Some Thoughts on Miss Hudson’s Minuet, op. 73, small orch, 1973; Sym. no.2, op.71, 1973; Profane Conc., op.41, small orch, 1974 [from chbr work, 1962]; Summer Music, op.77, small orch, 1979
vocal and choral
7 Songs, op.15, T, small orch, 1952; 4 petits nègres blancs, op.29, 1957; A Sleepe Song, op.30, T, gui, 1958; June Twilight, op.33, song, 1959; 2 Songs, op.36, 1960; Halfway to Sleep, op.40, song cycle, 1961; The Pessimist, op.44, song, 1964; A Barber, op.46, T, gui, 1965; The Jackdaw, op.47, song, 1965; Songs with Vn, op.50, 1967; 5 Psalms, op.60, B, pf/str, 1968; 3 Hymns, op.63, Mez, ob, hpd, 1968; A Book of Beasts, op.66, song cycle, 1969; 6 Miniatures, op.68, song cycle, 1971; To the Holy Spirit, op.70, S, fl, va da gamba, hpd, 1972; 2 Portraits, op.78, 1977; Canzonets, op.80, T, va, 1977
2 Carols for 2 Voices, op.1, 1949; 3 Carols for 3 Voices, op.4, 1949; Nunc dimittis, op.6, 1949; Come Holy Ghost, op.7, cant., C, female vv, str, 1950; Lord Thou hast Searched, op.9, anthem, 1950; Benedicite, op.11, 1951; Te Deum, op.16, chorus, orch, 1953; 3 Carols, op.17, 1952; With Pipe and Drum, op.21, T, male vv, small orch, 1954; Nocturne, op.24, female vv, pf duet/orch, 1955; Elegies, op.31, Mez, Bar, chorus, orch, 1958; Songs and Satires, op.39, 1961; The Nativity, op.45, Mez, chorus, orch, 1964; 3 Carols, op.49, 1965; The Hevenly Kery, op.57, 1967; Music for Voices, op.58, male 5vv, 1967; Jesu dulcis memoria, op.59, anthem, 1968; Litany for Male Voices, op.62, 1968; Meditations and Mysteries, op.64, Mez, chorus, str, org, 1969; Missa brevis (super Jesu dulcis memoria, op.59), op.75, 1975; Then Out of the Sweet Warm Weather, sym., op.79, Mez, chorus, orch, 1978; No Love to Love of Man and Wife, wedding anthem, op.81, 1978; Tempora sunt nimium, anthem, op.82, 1978