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The Mata Hari Suite

The Mata Hari Suite, for solo piano, consists of six pieces that were written to provide background music during the opening run of One Last Night with Mata Hari. This one-woman show requires a male pianist with acting abilities and was created by John Burge (music) and Craig Walker (book and lyrics). Mata Hari (1876-1917) was renowned as an exotic dancer and courtesan in the early 20th century but it is her conviction and execution by France on charges of spying for Germany during World War I that accounts for much of her ongoing infamy. Her final days were spent in the Saint Lazure Prison in Paris and this show uses the prison setting to give her one last time to tell her side of the story in a kind of cabaret performance. The musical language employed in the show draws heavily upon the styles of many composers of the period including Claude Debussy, Kurt Weill and even Arthur Sullivan, but Strauss waltzes are often percolating near the surface. More specifically, the six movements of this collection were composed to provide incidental music to aurally engage the audience before each of the two acts by combining melodies taken directly from the show with original melodies coloured in the same stylistic vein. Each movement is designed to be performed separately and has the suggested difficulty level of Grade Ten repertoire. Playing two or more contrasting movements would be an ideal performance presentation. 32 pages.