As a teen, Byron lusted after his cousin (who was engaged at the time). He pursued lovers during debt-ridden party years at Trinity College. And in adulthood, he laid eyes on his half-sister – we’ll come back to that. Lord Byron’s affairs were plenty, and they informed his Romantic poetry. It was this passion that leapt off the page and captured the imagination of artists who succeeded him – those who brought his stories to life at the theatre, adapted them for the screen, or set them mightily to music.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will perform two compositions that embody the spirit of Lord Byron’s words: Berlioz’s 1834 Harold in Italy, and Tchaikovsky’s 1885 Manfred Symphony. In this music, we can hear intimate links between composer and poet, with autobiographical currents flowing under their works.