At least, that's our story of the morning.
"Academics have wondered for years why music is quite so central to the play," said Holmes. "I have always felt that it reads like there is something missing. There are gaps in the text and character development is cut short. It has a reputation as an underwritten play, although it seems clear that extra text has not been cut or lost."Why not? They're right, there's an awful lot of music references in the play (Caliban's "Be not afeard..." speech being a particularly powerful example).
Holmes points to unexplained musical references in every scene and his theory has been supported by the distinguished Shakespearean Stanley Wells. "I would want to see the evidence, but this sounds possible. I can quite believe The Tempest might have been conceived as a musical entertainment," said Wells, who has edited Shakespeare texts for Oxford University Press and chairs the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Last year (or whenever it was), Julie Taymor put an awful lot of music into her Tempest film - including lifting the "Journeys end in lovers meeting" song from Twelfth Night.
Speaking of Twelfth Night, what other Shakespeare plays would make good musicals?