The Passion of Jekyll & Hyde


The Passion of Jekyll & Hyde


an opera without voices in three reels (2019)

John Barrymore as Dr. Jekyll.

John Barrymore as Dr. Jekyll.

  • Premiere: 12 July 2019 / Dunlop Pavilion / Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra / Erin Freeman

  • Instrumentation: (I=picc).1(II=corA).11(=bcl).1- or standard symphony orchestra

  • 84’

  • Dedication: to Erin Freeman

  • This is a rental work only. Rental and Licensing is handled through Burning Sled Music.


An 84-minute-long “opera without voices in three reels,” The Passion of Jekyll & Hyde is simultaneously a tone poem (when performed as an instrumental work) and a film score (when performed live to a projection of the 1920 public domain film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore. It also exists as a documentary by H. Paul Moon which combines footage of the premiere performance and the original film. Finally, the score can be performed as an opera when voices are added.

In performance live to film, the publisher provides a digital copy of the film ready for projection in performance.

Learn more about the piece at the Zen Violence Films website here.

Watch a three-minute tease from the film.

Watch the complete film.

A Brief Note on the Film Documentary

Somewhere between a new concert film, and an old silent film with new music added, The Passion of Jekyll & Hyde fuses cinema with music performance, in a new kind of movie experience that pays tribute to the medium's rich history of film scoring. This art form of tastefully aligning music with moving images, is a language that everyone knows, just from watching movies—but the hybrid experience here of watching the music itself being performed, within view of its timed combination with film, becomes a testament to musicians as a central part of the art form, hidden in the history of soundtracks. Put another way, this project reveals the normally unseen musicians behind movie magic, matched with the timeless skills of a classically-trained composer, and a conductor's musical direction (and my further camerawork and film editing) that bring it all together with dramatic precision—now, arguably exceeding the impact of watching the original silent film alone, that's widely described as "America's first horror movie." —H. Paul Moon