Various Artists

Boudica Bites Back: A Ken Russell Folk Opera

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Boudica Bites Back tells the story of an unsuccessful, but heroic, rebellion by the British against Roman rule, and this 23-minute collection of ten art songs, co-credited to dulcimer accompanist David Massengill, singer Lisi Tribble, and Ken Russell, recounts that story with hope, unhappiness, and, finally, determination. (Boudica was the queen of the Iceni in 60 A.D.) Massengill's chords match Tribble's breathy soprano note for note as she embodies the British in their righteous anger, decision to revolt, and failure to throw off the foreign yolk. Appropriately, however, "Hymn" closes the short disc with a renewed sense of faithfulness to the cause of independence, set to the music for the popular British anthem "Jerusalem." (Although described as "A Ken Russell Folk Opera," Boudica Bites Back is a film directed by Russell and starring Tribble.)