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Music Text

Libretto by Rinde Eckert (E)

Scoring

tenor(actor)-tsax(=bn)-KATmidi mallets-electronic drum set-elec.gtr-
kybd(synth/sampler)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
11/6/1998
Penn State University, Philadelphia, PA
Rinde Eckert, voice / Tony Taccone, director
Conductor: Paul Dresher
Company: Paul Dresher Ensemble

Roles

RICHARD RAVENSHEAD Tenor
Time and Place

1969, Ravenhead's boat, out in the Atlantic Ocean

Synopsis


Ravenshead
is based on the true story of Donald Crowhurst (Richard Ravenshead in the opera), who in 1969 challenged three competitors to a non-stop solo sailing race around the world. Although charming and intelligent, he was not equal to the task. Through a combination of incompetence, mechanical failure, and bad luck he found himself irrevocably off course. Crowhurst decided to cheat by hiding in a seldom-travelled part of the South Atlantic, then doubling back towards the finish line to come in second or third, avoiding undue suspicion. He never did finish the race. Eight months after he had set out from England, his boat was discovered, unmanned and ghosting idly in the middle of the Atlantic. On board were two logbooks - one imaginary, presenting an idealised version of the voyage for posterity, the other containing his actual position so he could find his way home. Faced with the likelihood that his deception would be discovered, Crowhurst apparently spiralled into madness and stepped off his boat into the ocean. Ravenshead, a monodrama, portrays these events in fictionalised form, depicting the title character's progression from unwarranted confidence to panic, despair, and finally insanity.
Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Contemporary, History

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Rinde Eckert/Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band/Paul Dresher
MinMax CD 011-A

Click here to purchase this CD set from Amazon




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