Frederick's doctor

2012

Frederick’s Doctor is based on texts from The Fatal Illness of Frederick the Noble, written by Dr. Morell Mackenzie in 1888. Mackenzie was a famous throat specialist in the late 19th century. As a successful surgeon and an authority in the field of laryngoscopy he was asked to supervise the case of the loved German crown prince Frederick. It was clear from the start that Mackenzie and the German doctors had different opinions about everyting, and soon Mackenzie was the subject of violent attacks by German medics and newspapers. Frederick died of laryngeal cancer 99 days after his rise to the throne. After the emperor's death Mackenzie's fame dwindled all too quickly. The publication of his book caused him to be censured by the Royal College of Surgeons.

Frederick's Doctor is a study in backfiring communication: an attempt to follow the doctor's motives as he tries to defend himself, slowly destroying his own reputation as he implicitly yet clearly accuses the German medics of murdering the Emperor.

Frederick's Doctor may be performed together with Petit Air II / Friedrichs Tagebuch as part of a work in progress about communication, the voice, the throat, and the unfortunate mute emperor.

Frederick's Doctor was given its world premiere by Continuum on October 22, 2012.


Martijn Voorvelt NL

Martijn Voorvelt is a self-taught composer whose chamber music often extends into the realms of theatre and literature. Voorvelt likes to explore the many possibilities of independent parts and simultaneous or overlapping compositions. His music has been described as being both experimental and accessible, both "wacky" and "balanced".  Born in Amsterdam in 1967, Martijn Voorvelt soon developed interests as a writer, a composer of chamber music and as a singer-songwriter. Not knowing which to choose, he studied musicology and in 1998 was rewarded a Ph.D. by the University of Leeds (England) for his dissertation on experimental post-punk pop music. Since then he divides his time between writing words and music (and watching birds in his spare time). He is also a guitarist and singer in several bands and ensembles, including his own Ruddy Shelduck and the recently resurrected Dutch new wave band The Tapes.

For more information about Martijn Voorvelt, click here.

Martijn Voorvelt