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Music Text

Libretto by Stephen Plaice (E)


2S,2Bar,2 actors (man+woman)
basset cl-2vln.vla.vlc

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh
Stephen Langridge, dir / Alison Chitty, designer / Aldeburgh Almeida Opera / Quatuor Diotima / Alan Hacker
Press Quotes

“Stylised staging, images and soundworld only rarely intertwine so well, appearing to grow out of each other, only finding explanation in their relationship… On the left you can see a house from the outside with a street light and a lit window. A man watches the shadowy figure of a woman… On the right the same scene unfolds from the inside…The couple write each other letters, they try in vain to come closer and slide again into their ritualised dreamworld… a fascinating work.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“…vivid, haunting and complex… it is an original fusion of music and drama, though one whose use of repetition, multiple representations and narrative layers clearly connect with Birtwistle’s earlier stage work… the whole thing is a singular achievement…”
The Guardian

“Birtwistle’s haunting, inventive music delves…deeply into the longings and confusion of the estranged lovers… it may be the most lyrical music the composer has written for the stage.”
Chicago Tribune

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