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Libretto by Claude Vivier (F-imaginary language)


singers: 2S,M,A,T,Bar,B

players: 0.1.2.bcl.0- by singers):Balinese gong/3 japonese gongs/BD/t-tam(lg)/crot/ant.cyms/t.bells/Cardboard tubes/glock

This work requires additional technological components and/or amplification.

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
Théâtre du Monument National, Montréal, QC
Conductor: Lorraine Vaillancourt
Company: l'Atelier de jeu scénique de la Faculté de Musique de l'Université de Montréal


Coloratura Soprano
Mezzo Soprano
Baryton-Martin or Tenor

In this ‘mystic tale’ the central character Agni – named after a Hindu deity – calls on historical and mythical figures: Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan, Isolde, Mozart, the Lord of the Waters, Copernicus and his mother.
Is Agni merely dreaming that they are present? Are they no more than figments of her imagination? Or are they memories of the human archetypes that accompanied her during her ritual initiation? Agni dematerializes.

Composer Notes

The main character is Agni; mystical beings borrowed from stories (represented by the other six singers) gravitate around her: Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of the Waters, Copernicus and his mother. These characters could be Agni’s dreams that follow her during her initiation and finally into her dematerialization.

— Claude Vivier

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.


History, Religion

Recommended Recording

Opera Factory Freiburg / Holst-Sinfonietta / Klaus Simon
bastille musique bm001

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