John Cooper

Wilde in New York Documentary

Quill Classics has posted a new full-length video documentary written and directed by Erik Ryding: Wilde in New York. The video features author John Cooper, shown above, who writes the Wilde in America blog, and Wilde biographer Matthew Sturgis provides the voice of Oscar.

Although Oscar Wilde is mostly associated with London at his zenith as a playwright, New York City also deserves a special place in his history. It was in New York, in fact, that his first two plays—Vera and The Duchess of Padua—had their world-premiere performances. During his yearlong tour of the United States in 1882, when he was a little-known poet associated with the comic character Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera Patience, he sojourned in New York several times, establishing important social and artistic connections. Prompting newspaper stories wherever he went, he returned to Europe a genuine celebrity.

The film, tracing Wilde through New York and beyond, features new and original recordings of period music by Rodrigo Espina, Étienne Goepp, Christina Kay, Howard Lew, Randall Love, Rebecca Pechefsky, Erik Ryding, Mitchell Vines, John Taylor Ward, and Melanie Williams; the video ends with a segment on the streets of New York City with Cooper visiting some of Oscar’s haunts.

Watch the video on YouTube.