Help us complete our performance of the Wreck of the Hesperus by Hamish MacCunn!
When Hamish MacCunn's setting of the Wreck of the Hesperus was first performed at the London Coliseum, it was accompanied by a magic lantern show.
A magic lantern is an early type of image projector that used lenses and a light source to enlarge and project images, from transparent slides.
Unfortunately, we don't have a magic lantern, or any slides! So we'd like your help to create some new versions to accompany our live recording, which we're going to share as one of our online concerts on Facebook and Twitter in June.
We welcome illustrations/photos/short animations - anything visual. But please note, we won't be able to include any sound.
Full details of the scenes we need illustrated are given below... Along with some other places to go for inspiration!
Deadline for artwork - Monday 1 June.
Many thanks! GUCC x
The Wreck of the Hesperus
Sadly, not all stories have a happy ending...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Wreck of the Hesperus was first published in 1842. It tells the story of the ill-fated voyage of the Hesperus. Despite being warned by one of his experienced crew that a hurricane was approaching, the skipper (captain of the ship) refused to stop at a nearby port. When the storm arrives, the skipper ties his daughter to the mast to stop her being swept out to sea. The ship is sadly wrecked, and the daughter, along with all the crew drowns.
If you'd like to hear the whole poem (including an exciting twist at the end, with the arrival of a super-hero!), we highly recommend the Terry Toons cartoon!
Illustrations we need!
Slide 1 - A picture of The Hesperus
A ship with sails, in a choppy sea...
Slide 2 - A picture of the daughter
Here’s Longfellow’s description of her
“Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.”
Slide 3 - The skipper, standing beside the helm
The helm is the ships steering mechanism. Lonfellow tells us he has a pipe in his mouth (the smoking variety, rather than the musical instrument!). Longfellow also mentions that the wind keeps changing direction, so the sea is probably still choppy.
Slide 4 - The skipper and an old sailor talking
The old sailor is asking the captain if he will pull into port.
Slide 5 - The Hesperus in bad weather
The weather needs to be much worse in this slide. Longfellow mentions snow and wind, and how cold it is. He says the sea is billowing like frothing yeast.
Slide 6 - The daughter, crouched in the boat with sea water coming in
She is very scared about the weather, and she's cold.
Slide 7 - The skipper wraps his daughter in his coat
The coat needs to be really big and warm, but they’re still in the middle of a storm.
Slide 8 - The daughter tied to the mast
The skipper ties his daughter to the mast in order to stop her from being swept overboard.
Slide 9 - The ship being tossed about on enormous waves
The weather continues to be terrible, and the waves get bigger and bigger. The ship is getting dangerously close to ‘the reef of Norman’s Woe’, which is a rocky outcrop off the coast of Massachusetts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman%27s_Woe
Slide 10 - The final slide.
In the original poem, the daughter drowns and it’s a really sad end. But if you’ve watched the Mighty Mouse version, you’ll know its a very different story! It’s up to you how you want the story to end! If you’d like to save the daughter and the ship, try to think of a really imaginative way to do this - please don't draw Mighty Mouse! Can you think of a different way that everyone could be saved?
How to submit your artwork:
We are using Google Forms to collect submissions. Simply go to this link and you can upload your artwork. If you are under 17, please ask a parent or guardian to do this for you. We will try to include as many submissions as possible.
DEADLINE: Monday 1 June
DEADLINE: Monday 1 June