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Music Text

Libretto by Charles Hart (E)


fl(=picc).cl(=bcl)-harp-pft-string quartet

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
Donmar Warehouse, London
David Fielding, director
Conductor: David Parry
Company: English National Opera Contemporary Opera Studio


MOTHER Soprano
SON Baritone

Jason Field, a twelve-year old boy, has been murdered. As events unfold, three characters, mother, father and son, explore dual roles; as Jason Field and his family, and as the murderer Martin Berry and his parents. Their identities, however, are frequently juxtaposed. There are four parts, each beginning with a spoken bulletin-like commentary, outlining the murder hunt and the court case. Part 1 focuses on the anguish over the child's death, but later concentrates on the murderer, who laments an apparent cycle of violence. Part 2 begins with the parents' condemnation of their son, but is transformed into reminiscences of childhood. Part 3 reaches a climax with parental retribution against the murderer, only to melt into reconciliation. The concluding section, Part 4, resolves the relationship between all the characters as they move on after the trial, the son simultaneously embodying the roles of Martin and Jason.

David Horne




Contemporary, Magic/Mystery, Relationships

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