Monday, April 20, 2009

Shakespearean Actress-Turned-Musician Amy Speace Remembers The Bard On The Anniversary Of His Death

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
- Duke Orsino, 'Twelfth Night' I.i.1-3

April 23 marks the 393rd anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, and remembering The Bard's famous words regarding music and love is uniquely relevant for singer-songwriter and former Shakespearean actress Amy Speace.

While lovelorn Duke Orsino may have hoped to cure his pain through overindulgence in both music and romance, Speace knows firsthand music's capacity to cure ailments of the heart: Speace turned to songwriting to heal her broken heart after she and her husband of ten years separated. In the process, the Amherst College-grad wrote all twelve songs on her new album 'The Killer In Me' (out June 30 from Wildflower Records).

Before finding herself as a musician, Speace toured with the prestigious National Shakespeare Company, and for her role in a non-traditional 1998 production of 'Henry V' (staged entirely in a parking lot), the New York Times said, "Ms. Speace makes a believable, desirable Katherine" (8.15.1998). Though she's still passionate about Shakespeare and the presence of music (and love) in his work, these days, Speace is earning praise for her "clear voice and innocent vulnerability [which] make her sweet, twangy folk warm and intimate" (Time Out NY 4.9.09).

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