Visit our Shakespeare and Opera Shop online!

Immortal Longings is an artist-run London company specializing Shakespare & Opera illustrations.

What you'll discover: Delightfully dramatic Shakespeare gifts featuring the Bard's best loved characters. I'm passionate about offering inspired gifts for actors, literature lovers, teachers, poets, dreamers, dramatics and romantics. My Opera Series provides art for international productions, giving an illustrated style to the thrilling music and characters.

My unique Shakespeare Gifts and Opera Gifts include: Giclée Art Prints, Art Cards, our Leatherbound journals (which make wonderful diaries and sketchbooks), Postcards, iPhone Wallpapers, and More.

The artwork is created by designer Elizabeth E. Schuch, working with local artisans in the UK and Society6 in the USA to produce gifts. Elizabeth has worked with Shakespeare's Globe, The Metropolitan Opera, The Seattle Opera, The Royal National Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and other venues around the world to create illustrations based in the world of drama.

Tudor Portraits

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Gettysburg on the History Channel

Sometimes it's not all Shakespeare and theatrical fantasy: I've been painting storyboards for CGI sequences quite a bit in the past year.

Battles and biology, it's great fun. Once the shows have aired, I'll be able to show a little behind the scenes of the artwork.

In the meantime:

Ridley Scott produces a vibrant portrait of American at war with itself.
Brilliant stuff, can expect guns, explosions and great daily details..
Storyboarded a few of the CGI   sequences.

Premieres in Memorial day, 30 May 2011, US
on the History Channel

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Inside the Human Body: on BBC 1 Tonight

Last summer, I had the pleasure of storyboarding a cracking new science series on the BBC, "Inside the Human Body."  Big, bold colours and gorgeous CGI graphics make it a treat for the eyes, presented by Michael Mosley.

For me, the biology and science were intriguing and a great new field to be painting for.  It began with some very abstract and specific subject matter, and incredible organic landscapes to work with.  I'll be posting some of the original drawings here after the episodes have aired. In the meantime, you can revel in the magical world inside all of us..  

"Inside the Human Body"
BBC 1 - 9pm, Thursdays in May

Press the red button on the episodes for Behind the Scenes, and perhaps a little about the storyboards...
Watch Inside the Human Body

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Queen of the Night

Mozart's The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) contains one of my favorite opera divas: The Queen of the Night.
Her glorious arias soar, and her nuturing/villainous dramatics steal the show.

The Seattle Opera is opening a splendid production  of The Magic Flute this week, and with it, my drawing for the Queen makes her first appearance...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Shakespeare: Wordsmith

  an article by Ashlie E. Montana

(illustrated by E. Schuch)

“…read him, therefore, and again and again; and if then you do not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger not to understand him.”
--John Hemings and Henry Condell, in the prefatory remarks to Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio’ in 1623

Anyone who has spent time immersed in the world of Elizabethan literature knows that at the first, it is a labor of love to comprehend the elegant prose and sometimes-unfamiliar wordage contained in those magnificent works. The writings of Shakespeare are a beloved favorite among many literary fans, and have been widely read and appreciated for 400 years.Despite his obvious popularity among scholars and leisure readers alike, it is not often recognized just how much Shakespeare contributed to the English language as a whole. His literary inspiration is cited for such writers as Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Alfred Tennyson, among other authors in the 1800s. However, Shakespeare’s influence extends beyond style and characterization to the major development of the English language as we know it today.

Elizabethan English was written the same way it was spoken, making grammar and sentence structures very vague. It was a language that explicitly expressed feelings. The volume of different words in 16th century English was also limited, making it difficult to express certain ideas and scenery in written language. Shakespeare became known for borrowing from classical literature and foreign languages to create the words he needed for his writing. He changed nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, and connected words never before used together by adding prefixes and suffixes, in order to devise words that were wholly original. Because the Bard and his work was such an influential person in Elizabethan culture, many of these new words trickled into common dialogue and expression among the English-speaking people.

His contributions have been recognized as early as 1598, when Francis Meres placed Shakespeare among the writers who had dignified the English language. Samuel Johnson’s ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ quoted more phrases from Shakespeare than any other writer. His individual style developed the usage of blank verse. By expressing emotions and situations in verse-form, he inspired a natural flow for language with an added sense of drama and spontaneity.

Of the 17,677 different words used by Shakespeare in his works, 1,700 of them are believed to be products of the Bard’s own imagination. It is incredible to consider the influence Shakespeare still has on our language, even as much as it has changed in the last couple centuries. Many commonly used phrases and figures of speech have been coined from his writing. 

Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated in this week in April every year, and provides a welcome opportunity to indulge in the beauty and distinctiveness of his work. A fine tribute to the Bard is the use of his phrases and quotes in everyday conversation. Here are a few Shakespearian words and phrases to inspire you. For maximum effect, a British accent is suggested.
 Whether you are inclined towards reading, speaking, or writing in the classic style of Shakespeare, we hope you continue to appreciate the Bard’s mastery of the English language and the contributions he made to it through his work!

Ashlie E Montana is a freelance writer in Wisconsin. She enjoys poetry and good coffee, and can often be found in the forest, daydreaming about her next story project.