Photo: Gunnie Moberg
Maxwell Davies, Peter
The Medium (1981)
Duration: 50 minutes
Monodrama for mezzo-soprano solo
Text by the composer (E,G)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Academy Hall, Stromness, Orkney
David William, director
Company: Mary Thomas, mezzo-soprano
We presume ourselves to be in a fairground booth, where a palmist awaits her clients - except that right from the start she behaves oddly, suggesting that we are eavesdropping all the while on her imaginary world. As the piece proceeds, so this imaginary world becomes more and more intense, violent and macabre, thrilled through with religious hysteria and sexual fantasy. It is, vocally and dramatically, a hugely demanding showpiece for the singer, who carries the entire weight of the work alone.