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Music Text

Libretto by the composer after the play by Robinson Jeffers (E)

Scoring

S,M,Bar,B
1.1.1.1-1.0.0.0-timp(optional)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
1/10/1971
Purcell Room, London
Conductor: Harry Legge
Company: The Grosvenor Ensemble

Roles

MEDEA Mezzo-Soprano
WOMAN Soprano
CREON Bass-Baritone
JASON Baritone
Time and Place

Early Greek civilization, Corinth, Greece

Synopsis

Jason, for whom Medea has sacrificed and done so much, has abandoned her to marry the daughter of Creon, King of Corinth. Creon appears and tells Medea that she must leave Corinth with her two young sons. Creon is afraid Medea will cause harm to his loved ones.  He also fears her knowledge of sorcery, poisons, and magic. Medea asks for half a day to prepare for her departure. Creon agrees, thinking she can do no harm in such a short time.  Jason visits her and admonishes her for insulting Creon since she arrived in Corinth. She reminds Jason of all the things she has done to protect him and bring him success. He asks to see his sons and she refuses. After Jason leaves, Medea prays to the ancient goddess Hecate to help her fulfil her revenge. Evening comes and Medea sends a poisoned robe to Creon’s daughter and kills her two sons. When Jason arrives on the scene, she shows him the murdered boys as her final gesture of hate and revenge.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Mythology, Relationships, Society




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