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Kats-Chernin, Elena

Iphis (1997/2005)

Duration: 70 minutes
Opera for six singers and nine musicians

Libretto by Richard Toop after Ovid's Metamorphosis (E)

Scoring
2S,M,2T,Bar 1(=picc).0.1(=bcl).0-1.0.0.0-perc:wdbl/cyms/hi hat/xyl/marimba/SD/ vib or glsp/3cowbells/crot/BD/tpl.bl/wind chimes/chinese bl/claves- pft(=kbd)-vln.vla.vlc.db.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
12/3/1997
Bangarra Dance Studio, Sydney, NSW
Aku Kadoga, director
Conductor: Mark Summerbell
Company: Music Theater Sydney

Roles

IPHISMezzo-Soprano
TELETHUSASoprano
LIDGUSTenor
IANTHESoprano
1st GODTenor
2nd GODBaritone


Time and Place
Early Greek civilization, Greece


Synopsis
Lidgus, a father, and Telethusa, a mother, are expecting a child. Desperately wanting a boy, Lidgus threatens to do away with the child if it is a girl, as "boys make money and girls cost and cost". Telethusa, in desperation to protect her unborn girl, calls for the Gods to intervene. The Gods can only give Telethusa an inspiration: "Be sure he thinks you’ve had a boy/ He’s blind, he’s dumb, he’ll scream for joy!" By the time Iphis, who was born under a veil of secrecy, is sixteen, Lidgus is convinced that he has an intelligent, if slightly odd, son. When Lidgus arranges a marriage between Iphis and a girl, Ianthe, the couple actually falls in love. When Iphis calls on the Gods for help, the Gods suggest to Iphis that she goes through with the marriage and should hope for the best. When the drunk and rowdy guests at the wedding reception suggest the couple strip and fulfil their promise in a traditional ceremony, however, the couple again calls on the Gods for help. At a loss, the Gods throw up their hands at the whole mess; multiple sexual transformations occur, and pandemonium ensues.


Moods
Comic, Romantic


Subjects
Mythology, Relationships, Society





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