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*Deutsch

Photo: Mike Hoban
Glyndebourne 1997, Stephen Langridge, dir

Lunn, John

Misper (1996)

Duration: 95 minutes
an opera for young people

Libretto by Stephen Plaice (E)

Scoring
Professional roles: S,M,M(or good amateur voice),2bar Children's main roles: 2 boys,1 girl,1 child as ink-monkey (dancer) Children's minor roles: group of 10 mixed voices,group of 10 girls' voices Children's chorus: 'books','ink-monkeys',actual children 2(I=picc,II=afl).1.corA.1.2bcl.1-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(5):I=marimba/bass marimba/shakers/tom-t/2bongos/ cyms/chinese cym; II=xyl/tgl/shakers/BD; III=mark tree/shakers/tpl.bl/tom-t/SD/BD/ride cym/hi-hat/ chinese cym; IV=glsp/shakers/tpl.bl/BD/cyms; V=t.bells/mark tree/tom-t/4gongs-pft-strings;

alternative reduced scoring by John Mortimer: 1(=picc).1.2.1-0.1.0.0-timp.perc(2):2gongs/2shakers/tgl/marimba/vib/2tpl.bl/drum kit/Chin.cyms/mark tree-pft-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
2/27/1997
Glyndebourne
Stephen Langridge, director / Alison Chitty, designer
Conductor: Andrea Quinn
Company: Glyndebourne Festival Opera



World premiere of version
3/23/2014
?
Company: Scottish Opera Connect

Roles

CHU HSI (MISPER)Baritone
FRANK WINTERTreble
BARRY ROOKBaritone
JULIEMezzo-Soprano
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GRAYLINGBaritone
KEEPER OF THE BOOKS (may be sung by Grayling)Baritone
LITTLE MOOKActor
MISS BLOOMINGDALEMezzo-Soprano
FRANK'S MOTHERSoprano
VICKY PHOENIXMezzo-Soprano
CALLUM, CHICKEN BULLY, THREE BORING BOOKS, VOICE OF TRAVEN, FAMOUS MANCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALLER, SERGEANTYoung people's roles
Librarians, Books, Ink Monkeys, School Kinds, Rook ScarersMixed semi-chorus
Julie's friendsSemi-chorus (4 female)
Offstage vocals


Time and Place
China, 12th Century; England, the present


Synopsis

The prologue is set in 12th century China, where a philosopher is writing about the future. Managing to blot and burn a page of his manuscript, he must travel to the future to put matters right. In Crayford, England, in 1999, a bunch of lads are up to no good at a railway line: Frank sprays his mark on a tunnel wall, while Barry puts a concrete block on the track. The train derails and the driver is hurt. A police inspector turns up at the school to question the kids. They have discovered the absent Frank's mark on the wall. The finger of blame points to him. The inspector also warns the kids about a missing person, or 'misper', seen in the vicinity: he might be responsible for some fires in Crayford recently. Julie, who knows Frank could not be to blame for the derailment, determines to emulate her heroine, a TV detective, and find out the truth. Frank is hiding out at Blackthorn Tip, where the philosopher – alias the Misper – befriends him. Barry helps catch Frank and the Misper and hand them over to the police. Julie is now sure Frank is innocent. She uses the fact that Barry fancies her to prove him guilty. He invites her out for a Chinese meal with the proceeds of his petty crimes, and she records their conversation. The Misper then warns her that Barry is setting the school on fire, and she saves his life. Barry is arrested and admits everything. At the tip, the Misper explains to Frank that he will return to his own time and that none of these events will happen. Back in China, he sees that the manuscript is unblemished.


Moods
Dramatic, Poetic


Subjects
Contemporary, Magic/Mystery, Relationships






Items on Sale

Misper(Vocal Score)> Details
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